Property experts are warning London landlords that they are likely to end up in the courts if the break private rented home licensing rules.

London Property Licensing has put together a list of council prosecutions in the capital against landlords over three years.

The study shows 580 landlords have faced the courts between April 1, 2011 and March 31, 2014.

The property firm, which helps landlords with HMO licensing and management, sent a freedom of information questionnaire to each of London’s 33 councils and analysed the results.

The findings showed that Newham Council leads the way in prosecuting landlords, after taking 359 cases to court.

Only five other councils reached double figure prosecutions over the period – Haringey (51), Camden (20), Redbridge (19), Southwark (15) and Tower Hamlets (13).

Eight councils registered no legal action against landlords.

“The research should act as a warning for landlords under the misapprehension that councils lack the resources or willingness to enforce the law,” said the report.

“Delve a bit deeper and the research shows significant variation in housing enforcement across boroughs.

“Newham Council prosecuted more landlords than all the other councils added together. This unprecedented level of housing enforcement is closely associated with a decision to implement borough-wide selective and additional licensing to stamp out poor quality housing.”

Most of the court cases involved two main housing offences –

  • HMO management offences, such as renting out an unlicensed home or breaking licence conditions, such as overcrowding, fire precautions and health and  safety issues
  • Ignoring improvement notices to repair poor housing or failing to keep to prohibition orders barring landlords from renting out homes subject of improvement orders
London Landlord Prosecutions 
ProsectionsCouncil
359Newham
57Haringey
20Camden
19Redbridge
15Southwark
13Tower Hamlets
9Greenwich
9Islington
8Hammersmith & Fulham
8Lambeth
7Croydon
7Hounslow
6Hackney
6Waltham Forest
5Hillingdon
5Lewisham
4Barnet
4Bromley
4Ealing
4Wandsworth
4Westminster
3Kensington & Chelsea
2Harrow
1Kingston upon Thames
1Sutton
0Barking & Dagenham
0Bexley
0Brent
0City of London
0Enfield
0Havering
0Merton
0Richmond upon Thames
580
Note: Data from Freedom of Information refering to April 1, 2011 until March 31, 2014Source: London Property Licensing