A dozen Waltham Forest landlords have been prosecuted and fined a total of £60,000 after failing to sign up to the borough’s rental property licensing scheme.

Court action has been taken against rogue landlords after a crackdown by Waltham Forest council, in which over 7,500 properties have been visited by officers this year.

This has led to 12 prosecutions of landlords who have failed to obtain a licence, with some ordered to pay fines of more than £10,000.

Cabinet member for housing, Cllr Khevyn Limbajee, said: “Landlords have now had ample time to apply for their licence, so there is simply no excuse to not have one in place by now.

“Any landlord who thinks they can avoid it needs to think again, as they could soon receive a visit from us and end up in court.

“We are determined to ensure that every privately rented property in the borough obtains a licence.”

The council launched its Private Rented Property Licencing scheme (PRPL) in March 2015, in an attempt to improve housing standards and reduce anti-social behaviour.

The scheme requires all landlords operating in the borough to have a separate licence for each property they rent out in the private sector.

Once in possession of a licence landlords must comply with certain conditions otherwise they could be prosecuted and fined.

Council inspections of rented properties have uncovered several case of tenants living in poor conditions.

During one visit, officers found a property that was supposedly owner occupied, but in reality was being rented by 11 people in cramped conditions.