New measures have been introduced by Hambleton Council to crackdown on bad practices, stamp out overcrowding and improve standards for people living in rented accommodation.
A range of measures, which have been introduced to tackle rogue landlords and drive up safety and general standards, are being looked at by district council officers. The Housing and Planning Act 2016 changes include:
- civil penalties of up to £30,000 as an alternative to prosecution
- extension of Rent Repayment Orders to cover illegal eviction, breach of a banning order or failure to comply with a statutory notice
- banning orders for the most serious and prolific offenders
- a database of rogue landlords/letting agents convicted of certain offences
- landlords renting properties in England occupied by five or more people, from two or more separate households must be licensed as a House in Multiple Occupation from October 2018
- local councils – as part of the licencing requirements – will be able to apply minimum size requirements for bedrooms in houses of multiple occupations to prevent overcrowding
“Generally within Hambleton landlords are responsible, provide good accommodation and are happy to carry out works voluntarily if problems are identified by enforcement officers,” said district council cabinet spokesman, Coun Stephen Watson.
“But we do come across a small number of rogue or criminal landlords who knowingly rent out unsafe and substandard accommodation. This is when enforcement action is needed to ensure the property can be brought up to the required standard.”
He said it is beneficial to have a range of enforcement powers to be able to address a situation quickly, to act as a deterrent and to be able to share information with other local authorities where the landlord may have other rental properties.
The legislative changes are currently being explored with a report expected to go before councillors in the autumn. For more information contact Joy Swithenbank, Residential Team Leader on 01609 767088 or firstname.lastname@example.org