Councils in London are failing to tackle rogue landlords and have adopted a “threadbare patchwork” of enforcement against them, according to London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon.
The Lib Dem obtained data via a Freedom Of Information request submitted to all 32 London boroughs to find out how they were dealing with the issue.
According to the research, a quarter of authorities had not prosecuted a single landlord for providing unsafe accommodation in the last complete financial year and a further 50% had prosecuted fewer than 10.
Local boroughs fared relatively well from the research, with Newham responsible for 70% of prosecutions across London, carrying out 1,920 inspections and bringing 286 prosecutions.
Newham has 49,000 of its households rented from private landlords, 42.5% of its housing stock, the second highest percentage in London behind Westminster at 43%.
Caroline said: “Most landlords are responsible people but sadly an element are not. Firm action must be taken to tackle them.
“Basic standards must be upheld for the two million people in London who now live in private rented accommodation.
“Against a background of severe budget cuts councils are clearly struggling to find the resources to tackle these issues.
“With the private rented sector growing rapidly in London, it is time to introduce a proper and robust framework of regulation across the entire city.
“The data clearly demonstrates that only a rigorous regime of licensing will result in the enforcement needed to put an end to the problem of rogue landlords across every part of London.”
She appealed to Mayor Of London Sadiq Khan to take the issue seriously and described the Government’s blocking of licensing schemes as “foolish”.
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