Private housing enforcement and penalties

In March 2018 we developed a Private Sector Housing Enforcement Policy that tells you what you can expect from our officers carrying out enforcement in private homes, and the amount of money we will charge landlords as a penalty if we find that they have not followed the law. 

Read the full policy and detailed table of penalty charges

Summary of the policy

Why the council carries out enforcement

Most of the homes our residents live in are either privately owned or rented from private landlords or registered providers, and we need to make sure this housing is in good condition and well managed.   We have a responsibility to deal with housing that may be dangerous for the people living there.  To make sure these homes are safe we carry out enforcement against landlords who do not follow the rules.  

How the council takes enforcement action

The type of enforcement we decide to take is always considered on a case by case basis and will vary according to the law.  In some cases, the law tells us that we must take enforcement action such as serving legal notices or charging a penalty fine; and in other cases officers are able to help landlords and residents by providing information and advice.

Where we have previously provided information, or warned a landlord that their property does not meet a safe standard, and they continue to not follow our advice, our officers will escalate the case and take more serious enforcement action to protect those at risk. In the most serious cases possible action will include taking the landlord to court.

In every case we will use enforcement to make sure:

  • everyone follows the law
  • landlords take immediate action to deal with serious risks
  • landlords who do not follow the rules are held to account

Penalty charges

In some cases, we have the power to enforce penalty charges on a landlord who has not followed the rules as an alternative to taking the landlord to court. 

We are able to issue a penalty of up to £30,000 for the following offences:

  • failing to meet the terms of an improvement notice
  • failing to licence a house in multiple occupation (HMO)
  • failing to meet the terms of a HMO licence or HMO regulations
  • failing to meet the terms of an overcrowding notice
  • failing to meet the terms of a banning order

We are also able to issue a maximum fine of £5,000 for failing to meet the terms of smoke and carbon monoxide regulations.

The actual amount we will charge in each case will be adjusted depending on certain circumstances such as:

  • the seriousness of the risk or actual harm to tenants
  • the previous history of the landlord
  • whether the landlord should have known or deliberately broke the law

For further guidance on penalty charges and how we might vary the charge please see appendix 2 of the full policy 

How to pay a civil penalty notice

Payment can be made online. Please select 'Fixed Penalty Notices' and 'Residential Environmental Health (Housing) FPN' from the drop down list. Remember to select the 'Done' button in the last step to complete the payment transaction.

Pay online

Rogue landlord database

In April 2018 the government launched a national database of landlords who have been banned from renting out homes, or who have been convicted of certain offences that would harm their ability to be a landlord. 

The Mayor of London also has a 'Rogue landlord and agent checker' which shows the names of any London landlord who has been convicted of a housing related offence or received a civil penalty. 

We will input the details of any landlord convicted or received a penalty for a housing related offence onto these databases.

Contact us

If you have a question about the policy or are concerned about the condition of your home, you can contact our Residential Services Team.

Last updated: 16 March 2020