London landlord fined £22,000 by borough

A landlord who owns 16 properties in Waltham Forest, North London, has been fined £22,000 for failing to license two of his rented homes.

The fine was levied under the borough's scheme to protect the safety of tenants renting properties in the borough of Waltham Forest. which The scheme includes for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).

Waltham Forest Council has designated Waltham Forest as a Private Rented Property License Area. This means that owners of every privately rented home in the borough must apply for a Private Rented Property License (PRPL) to be issued by the council, unless there is an exemption.

The application process for a PRPL requires each landlord in Waltham Forest to complete a number of checks to monitor for health and safety breaches, and will consider the following:

  • Smoke alarms
  • Fire risk assessment
  • Furniture (must comply with Fire Safety Amendment Regulations 1993)
  • Gas Safe certificate
  • Electrical check

Both of the houses in question were being let out to families by the landlord. The landlord has since attempted to apply for the required licenses but may be unable to do so due to the convictions against him.

Private landlords - laws and regulations

There are a number of laws and regulations in place to protect the safety and security of tenants renting homes through private landlords in the UK.

The Occupiers Liability Act 1957 requires that property owners keep their visitors reasonably safe from harm. Private landlords have a duty of care to ensure that their tenants are safe from harm while using their property.

Landlords are required to ensure that fittings, furnishings and appliances are maintained to a safe standard. The necessary safety equipment must also be installed and functional - for example smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

If you are injured in an accident at your home through no fault of your own, you may be able to make an injury compensation claim against your landlord.

How to make a compensation claim against a private landlord

In order to make a claim of negligence against your landlord you will need to prove that you were injured as a result of the following in the home:

  • Poor maintenance
  • Defective products
  • Faulty work

Your landlord is responsible for maintaining the property to a safe standard, so if your injury is caused due to any of the above, your landlord may be liable. The following steps will assist your case against a negligent landlord:

  • Take photographs of the defective product, faulty work or poor maintenance that caused the accident.
  • Make a note of when the issue was first reported to your landlord, how many times it was reported, and your landlord's response. Email correspondence is the most effective way to keep track of such communications.
  • Contact your landlord to inform them that you have been injured as a result of the issue raised, and request again that they rectify it.

Claims against private landlords can be complex and difficult to prove. It must be established that the landlord either knew of the defect or issue that caused your injury, or should have known, and that the landlord failed to resolve the issue in a reasonable time frame.

To discuss your options with a specialist solicitor, or to start a claim against your landlord, contact Quittance on 0800 612 7456 or request a callback.