Councils to receive £5m to tackle unfair practices by landlords
The government is making an extra £5m available to councils to tackle unfair practices by rogue landlords.
The money will be shared among 48 councils to enable them to carry out more raids, increase inspections of property, issue more statutory notices, survey more streets and to demolish sheds and prohibited buildings.
Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said: “The measures will not hamper the vast majority of landlords who are diligent and responsible. Many private rental tenants are happy with their home and the service they receive, but there are still rogue landlords that exploit vulnerable people and force their tenants to live in overcrowded and squalid accommodation.
“We want to raise the quality and choice of rental accommodation across the sector. The funding will ensure tenants know what level of service they can expect and have confidence to get help and take action if things go wrong.”
The funding to tackle rogue landlords is part of a package of proposals in the Housing and Planning Bill.
Measures in the Bill include:
- a database of rogue landlords and property agents convicted of certain offences
- banning orders for the most serious and prolific offenders
- the introduction of civil penalties of up to £30,000 as an alternative to prosecution
- the extension of Rent Repayment Orders to cover illegal eviction, breach of a banning order or failure to comply with a statutory notice
- more stringent fit and proper person test for landlords of licensable properties such as Houses in Multiple Occupation
Landlords should also be aware that since 1 February 2016, they have to carry out Right to Rent checks to ensure potential tenants have the right to rent property in the country.
Please contact Janice Young if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of commercial property law.