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Richmond Council acts against failing rogue landlord

29 April 2021

Richmond Council is keen to assure residents renting in the borough that rogue landlords and letting agents will be addressed and enforced.

The Council's Private Sector Housing Team recently acted against East Sheen Estates Limited after responding to complaints of poor housing conditions in five of its rented flats. An investigation showed serious issues across the properties, including water damage, a leaking roof and the lack of a working fire alarm system. 

The investigation carried out by a Council Environmental Health Officer led to two Improvement Notices being issued to the company under the Housing Act 2004. After the company failed to carry out the necessary remedial works, the Council issued two Financial Penalty Notices resulting in a £10,000 fine. 

A further inspection of one of the flats showed that the condition of the property had significantly worsened, and a Prohibition Order was issued to prevent the flat from being occupied. Upon reinspecting the flat in February 2020, it was revealed that it was still occupied, despite the Prohibition Order. As a result, the Council took the company to court last month under section 32 of the Housing Act. During the hearing, the letting agent was fined over £15,000.  

The Council has also sought a Rent Repayment Order of £6,857.18 for one of the flats, which East Sheen Estates Limited will be required to pay within 28 days. 

Nick Steevens, Head of Regulatory Services for Richmond Council, said: 

"Renters in Richmond upon Thames should not be subject to rogue landlords who leave their properties in dismal conditions and who fail to act when issued with Improvement Notices.  

"The Council's Private Sector Housing Team works hard to investigate complaints and improve the borough’s housing standards. We are pleased with the outcome of this investigation and encourage residents who might be experiencing issues to contact us. 

"Rogue landlords should take notice that the Council will not hesitate to act when it comes to sub-standard housing."

If you have an issue, you can contact the Private Sector Housing Team on 0208 545 3025 or privatehousing@merton.gov.uk 

Up to: April 2021

Updated: 29 April 2021