Tougher measures introduced to target rogue landlords
New rules in force from today aim to help crackdown on rogue landlords that flout the rules and improve safety and affordability for renters.
The powers will give councils the tools to crack down on rogue landlords who shirk their responsibilities, said Housing Minister Gavin Barwell.
This comes as part of the government’s plan set out in its housing white paper to create a bigger and better private rental sector that meets the needs of tenants and landlords alike, giving those who rent a fairer deal.
Power to fine landlords
Councils are now able to impose fines of up to £30,000 as an alternative to prosecution for a range of housing offences. They will be able to retain all of the income to make sure it is used for private sector housing enforcement purposes.
Rent repayment orders, which can be issued to penalise landlords managing or letting unlicensed properties, have also been extended to cover a wider range of situations. These include the illegal evictions or harassment of the occupiers of a property, using violence to secure entry and the breach of a banning order.
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.”
Access to data
Further new measures introduced today include giving councils access to tenancy deposit protection data that help them identify rental properties in their area, and tackle the small minority of rogue landlords through targeted enforcement and prevention work.
Letting agent fees to tenants will also be banned.