Planning and Housing

24.08.17

Council cracks down on rogue landlords with harsh housing penalties

Nottingham City Council has announced it will use a new set of legal powers aimed at stamping out rogue landlords and agents in the area.

Changes made to the Housing and Planning Act 2016 have allowed the council to issue Civil Penalty notices up to a maximum fine of £30,000 – which will hit dishonest landlords hard by taking away their ill-gotten revenue.

The new penalties do not require a court hearing to pass, meaning that the council is able to take swift and effective action far more quickly.

Nottingham City has even said that it will use the Civil Penalties as an alternative to lengthy, costly prosecutions for a range of housing offences, including failure to comply with housing improvement or overcrowding notices and not having the right license for a property.

“Good landlords and letting agents have nothing to fear from these changes to the law,” said Cllr Toby Neal, the city council’s portfolio holder for community and customer services. “The city council will now be able to tackle poor housing conditions in private rented housing more easily. 

“The Civil Penalties process has a straightforward set of steps that allow landlords to make the required changes before fines are issued.”

The council will also enforce another set of housing law changes alongside the Civil Penalties, which will allow Nottingham City Council and tenants to apply for a Rent Repayment Order (RRO) to claim back up to 12 months’ rent.

Previously, RROs were only an option for getting money back when landlords had failed to license a property requiring a license, whilst tenants could only apply where the landlord had been prosecuted for the offence or when the council had successfully applied for an RRO.

Now, RRO applications can be made for a wide swathe of offences such as illegal eviction or harassment of people living in the property, as well as using violence to secure entry and failing to comply with a housing improvement notice or prohibition order.

The council can also apply for an RRO to recover any rent paid by Housing Benefit or Universal Credit to landlords and letting agents, whilst tenants can submit an RRO application if they have paid the rent themselves.

“Taking the Civil Penalties together with changes made to the RRO scheme, it means that the council can take away the financial rewards gained by landlords and letting agents by putting substandard, dangerous or unacceptable private rented properties onto the market,” Cllr Neal continued.

“For the city council, these legal changes will provide additional resources to continue making sure that the city’s 36,000 private rented properties are fit for purpose.

“The council’s use of these new powers along with our plans to introduce a new licensing scheme underline our commitment to ensuring people in Nottingham have access to decent quality private rented housing.”

Any money taken from landlords and agents can be legally kept by the local authority and put back into housing enforcement action.

Top Image: okeyphotos

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

Core Cities leaders press for domestic post-Brexit agenda after meeting with Barnier

23/02/2018Core Cities leaders press for domestic post-Brexit agenda after meeting with Barnier

Leaders and mayors representing Core Cities UK have met with the EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier this week. The Brussels meeting saw leaders ... more >
DHSC seeks views on addressing care workforce challenges

23/02/2018DHSC seeks views on addressing care workforce challenges

A consultation focusing on the adult social care workforce has been launched by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), in partnership wit... more >
An unsettling finance settlement?

23/02/2018An unsettling finance settlement?

Piali Das Gupta, head of policy at Solace, looks over the final local government finance settlement and argues that it does not do enough to supp... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >
Academies mean councils struggling to take integrated approach to education

23/02/2018Academies mean councils struggling to take integrated approach to education

Councils are struggling to take an integrated approach to education in areas where high numbers of secondary schools are academies, a report by the National Audit Office (NAO) has revealed. The ... more >
Core Cities leaders press for domestic post-Brexit agenda after meeting with Barnier

23/02/2018Core Cities leaders press for domestic post-Brexit agenda after meeting with Barnier

Leaders and mayors representing Core Cities UK have met with the EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier this week. The Brussels meeting saw leaders of the 10 largest urban areas outside London discu... more >

the raven's daily blog

Whole of government must act together to fulfil the ambition of the Industrial Strategy

11/12/2017Whole of government must act together to fulfil the ambition of the Industrial Strategy

Jen Rae, head of innovation policy at Nesta, says the aims in the government’s new Industrial Strategy are ambitious, but will require a shift in policymaking in order to be realised in full. Last Monday saw the long-awaited launch of the UK’s new Industrial Strategy, the government’s plan for prosperity and growth in a ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

An unsettling finance settlement?

23/02/2018An unsettling finance settlement?

Piali Das Gupta, head of policy at Solace, looks over the final local government finance settlement and argues that it does not do enough to supp... more >
Finance settlement: a golden opportunity

23/02/2018Finance settlement: a golden opportunity

The local government finance settlement must enable counties to continue to be the engines of the English economy by providing a fairer funding a... more >
Data protection by design

23/02/2018Data protection by design

Nigel Houlden, head of technology policy at the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), looks at how organisations can win back public tru... more >
Citizen-centric cities for a better tomorrow

22/02/2018Citizen-centric cities for a better tomorrow

Mark Collin, group director of Ventures at ThoughtWorks, discusses how governments can learn from a bottom-up, citizen-focused approach to d... more >

interviews

BIM: Digitising the public sector

19/02/2018BIM: Digitising the public sector

PSE’s Josh Mines talks to Stephen Crompton, CTO at GroupBC, and Stuart Bell, the company’s sales and marketing director, about how Bu... more >
Duncan Selbie: The energy of devolution

19/02/2018Duncan Selbie: The energy of devolution

The NHS plays a part in keeping the country well – but when it comes to places and their people, local government has a major role to fulfi... more >
Are we taking a risk on education?

14/12/2017Are we taking a risk on education?

Adrian Prandle, director of economic strategy and negotiations at the National Education Union (NEU), questions the stark lack of announcements a... more >
A fantastic opportunity awaits you

11/12/2017A fantastic opportunity awaits you

Eight months on from the government’s announcement of major training reforms, Anne Milton, minister for apprenticeships and skills at the D... more >

public sector focus

View all News