A leading London council is set to approve a controversial new scheme that will fine HMO landlords when tenants put non-recyclable materials into communal bins.

If Islington Council gets the green light, landlords will have to fork out £47 each time that refuse collectors find “significant amounts of non-recyclable material” in the bin.

Currently, each time this happens, a separate refuse crew has to go back and empty the bins, with the council absorbing any extra costs.

Islington will first issue a section 46 notice to all landlords and managing agents of properties that use communal recycling bins, explaining which containers to use.

But if their bin is then found to be ‘contaminated’ they’ll have to pay the £47 charge.

If they refuse, the bin won’t be emptied and they’ll be invited to remove the rubbish themselves and the recycling bin will be emptied as normal on the next scheduled collection day. If this doesn’t happen, they’ll be served with a community protection notice.

The council says this plan will offset the additional cost of collection for which there is currently no budget and improve the quality of recycling collected.

Not the first

Islington is not the first council to take this type of action; among those who charge for the service are Cambridge City Council (£30), Wigan Council (£20), and Watford Council which charges up to £90.

In 2017, the government extended HMO licencing and as part of the measures promised to make landlords responsible for bins and the associated dumped rubbish, declaring: “Landlords will be held responsible for making sure the council’s rules on refuse and recycling are followed.”

bin recyling champion islington

Councillor Rowena Champion (pictured), Islington’s executive member for environment and transport, tells LandlordZONE: “By introducing these proposals, we can encourage managing agents and landlords to work with their residents to raise awareness of the benefits of recycling, and to reduce levels of contamination.” 


  1. Thank You! For sharing this blog, your blog is really very interesting and informative because you have mentioned all details about the particular things.

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  2. So the Landlord is punished for the behaviour of the Tenant. Words almost fail me. What a recipe for spiteful tenants to deliberately get the Landlord into trouble and suffer financially. On a different note, please can Landlord Zone stop allowing the comments section to be taken over by people trying to flog their services.

    • Accountability . If you are an adult then you must be accountable for your own actions. What utter rubbish the landlord being responsible for a tenants waste. School kids are being educated in sustainability so why can’t an adult who is of age to rent a property be accountable for their own rubbish. Ohhhh I get it, let the landlord yet again take up the slack for uneducated people of society. Change the title of landlord to baby sitter!

  3. Won’t this push landlords to take away the recycle bins and get the tenants to dump everything in the general waste?

  4. Yes; please ban those posting adverts; and forgive me for being thick, but why can’t the Council fine the tenants? They know where they live. I know some will give false names, but surely this is the logical answer to this nonsense.

  5. It is a basic tenet of english law is that you cannot be held responsible for another adults actions.

    This has been proven in case law on various property & landlord issues, not least of which was the anti-social behaviour that some councils tried to make landlords responsible for.

    Petition your landlords association (I recommend the NRLA) to consign yet another piece of looney left thinking to the rubbish bin. Perhaps we can fine the council for putting the wrong rubbish into circulation 😉

  6. OK, can I deduct the cost of the fine from the deposit. Can I rely on the Deposit Protection Schemes to back me up … I don’t think so.

    If not, there is absolutely no incentive for the tenants to behave responsibly and they will just use both bins for general rubbish. I have students, they are always getting it wrong and do not care.

    In addition when the black bin is full they just go to the next bin to put the rubbish in. Doesn’t matter if it is a recycling bin or the house next door. The whole area has the same problem. Excess rubbish is left in black bags near the bins which the council does not remove. Most students do not have cars and therefore cannot get to the Council Tip even if they were bothered, and in any case the council tip closed at the start of COVID and has not opened again.

    The nearest tip is open 4 days a week and is 15 miles away. We have a huge pest control problem because the council refuses to clear up the black bin bags saying that they are on private property. They call it Fly Tipping on Private Land. It is just that the Council refuses to accept that the rubbish collection service is rubbish itself.

  7. Instead of collecting all recycling into one bin, which requires the tenants to understand the difference between what is classified as recycling in each different council area, AND each council has a different colour scheme which is always going to be different to what they had a home.

    Standardise all refuse collection in all councils and boroughs. Tenants understand when the bin is marked “Green Glass”, “Brown Glass”, “Cardboard”, “Landfill”, etc.

    Make it easy not difficult.

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