New rules to combat rogue landlords
Owners of unfit private rented accommodation could find themselves facing new penalties imposed by Boston Borough Council.
Councils have been given authority to impose civil penalties for certain Housing Act offences. These could include financial penalties of up to £30,000 for failing to comply with an improvement notice, offences in relation to licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs), failure to comply with management regulations for an HMO and contravention of an overcrowding notice. Previously these offences had to be dealt with by the courts.
The council is now consulting on a new draft civil penalties policy to implement the new powers and invites comments to assist in framing the local policy on when to prosecute through the courts and when to issue its own penalty and the severity of the penalties. Repeat offenders could end up on a national database of rogue landlords and property agents.
Cllr Martin Griggs, Boston Borough Council's portfolio holder for housing, said: "This is further power which will allow the council to take swift action to tackle rogue landlords without the need to take them to court which can be time consuming and costly, although the council will still consider action through the courts in the most serious cases. Good landlords and letting agents have nothing to fear from these financial penalties, however, if they choose to ignore the council or commit housing offences in relation to the licensing, management or overcrowding of Houses in Multiple Occupation then they need to be aware that significant fines can be imposed. In addition if they are repeat offenders they could be added to a national database of rogue landlords so that enforcement resources can be focused on any properties they own or manage elsewhere."
The council's draft policy can be seen at Consultation on Draft Civil Penalties Policy for Housing Act Offences
Comments should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight on January 19, 2018.