Blitz on hazardous homes in Westminster’s Private Rented Sector
February 27, 2013
Rogue landlords are being targeted in a clampdown on sub-standard homes in the central London borough of Westminster’s.
Hundreds of hazards were removed from properties in Westminster, which has the highest concentration of privately rented homes in the UK.
Council officials found tenants shivering because of poor central heating, damp problems and hazards that could lead to serious injury from falls, such as broken banisters and low windows.
Housing officials removed 771 “hazards” from more than 1,700 properties, said the council. Officials also found overcrowding, mould and poor sanitation.
More than 200 legal notices were served on landlords ordering them to carry out improvements or face prosecution and fines of up to £5,000.
Jonathan Glanz, the council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “The majority of landlords in Westminster do provide decent homes, but there are powers in place which we can call upon when landlords renting privately to tenants in their area do not play by the rules. Few seem to know that if you are privately renting in the capital, councils are there to help if your home puts your health at risk.”
Opposition Labour leader Paul Dimoldenberg urged the council to sign up to a landlord registration scheme, setting basic standards for a property before it can be let.
First reported in the Evening Standard.