Latest Public Sector News

06.04.17

Councils given power to fine rogue landlords £30,000 for malpractice

New legislation has come into force today that will allow councils to fine rogue landlords up to £30,000 in an effort to crackdown on exploitative rental practices in the UK.

Landlords found guilty of malpractice, including failing to fix problems that could cause tenants health problems, harassing or using violence against renters or illegally evicting people from their homes, could be slapped with a fine as high as £30,000.

DLCG has also confirmed that councils will be able to retain the income to make sure it is used for further enforcement of rules for private landlords.

On top of this, letting agents’ fees will be banned to give tenants a fairer deal when choosing houses, and Rent Repayment Orders, which are issued to penalise landlords letting unlicensed properties, have been extended to cover a wider range of scenarios.  

The government hopes that these measures will make homes safer and more affordable for renters and discourage landlords from shirking their duties to tenants.

Today’s news follows other measures that are being considered by the government to stamp out rogue landlord practices, as a consultation was opened in December to assess support for a new policy that would allow councils to ban landlords who did not meet required standards from continuing to rent out property in the future. The feedback is currently being analysed.  

A £5m fund was also made available at the start of last year to allow councils to crackdown on rogue landlords and protect residents from being extorted.

Housing and planning minister Gavin Barwell said: “These measures will give councils the additional powers they need to tackle poor quality rental homes in their area.

“By driving out of business those rogue landlords that continue to flout the rules, we can raise standards, improve affordability and give tenants the protections they need.”

The rules being enforced today comes alongside the recently published Housing White Paper that is being introduced to try and create a fairer market for people in private rentals.

Recently the government admitted that the market was “broken” as many families found that rental houses were completely out of their price range.  

Tom Simcock, research and information officer for the Residential Landlords Association, wrote today: “As part of the Housing and Planning Act 2016, the government introduced a range of new measures available for local authorities in relation to their dealings with rogue landlords: civil penalties, rent repayment orders, banning orders and the introduction of a database for rogue landlords and letting agents.

“From April 6 2017, some of these powers will come into force as civil penalties are introduced and rent repayment orders are significantly strengthened.

“This now means that local councils will be able to issue a civil penalty notice up to a maximum of £30,000 per offence. In addition, local council’s will also be able to apply for a rent repayment order, for up to 12 months’ rent.

“However, with the strengthening of the rent repayment orders, tenants will also be able to take landlords to tribunal to apply for a rent repayment order.”

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Comments

Jk   10/04/2017 at 04:44

I'm in process of buying a house to use as a shared let with me living there,do I need a licence,council permission\check?It will be in Fleetwood,rooms will be furnished,TV kettle toaster and fridge freezer supplied in private room with shared space of house entrance,bathroom and lounge/kitche\diner.washer dryer to be supplied in bathroom.all bills to be included in rent including sky and internet.

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