Welcome for tougher measures on rogue landlords

Town Centre councillors have welcomed new rules which should crackdown on rogue landlords and help to improve safety and affordability for people who rent.

The new rules in force from today (6 April 2017) will give local authorities the tools to crack down on those landlords who shirk their responsibilities.

Councils will now be able to impose fines of up to £30,000 as an alternative to prosecution for a range of housing offences and can retain all of the income 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 illegal eviction of or harassment of the occupiers of a property, using violence to secure entry or the breach of a banning order.

Town centre Lib Dem councillor Tony Dawson said:

“Southport has many excellent landlords but an important minority do not come up to scratch. I welcome these measures which will give councils the additional powers they need.”

“If these powers work, poor landlords will have to shape up or get out.”

His colleague, Councillor  Pat Keith agrees:

“By putting firm pressure on the handful of rogue landlords that continue to flout the rules, we can raise standards, improve affordability and give tenants the protections they need, ” she says.

Further new measures introduced today give councils access to tenancy deposit protection data. This will help them identify rental properties in their area, and tackle rogue landlords through targeted enforcement and prevention work. Letting agents’ fees will also be banned to give renters greater clarity and control over what they will have to pay.

Other new measure being brought in today amend planning rules so councils can proactively plan for more long-term Build-to-Rent homes which should encourage developers to offer more affordable rental homes alongside other forms of affordable housing.

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