The RLA has responded to a consultation which was run by Central Bedfordshire Council on housing enforcement.
The Council is currently reviewing its Policy to Regulate Private Sector Housing Standards. As part of this review, a consultation was held on plans to introduce a number of additional powers available to them to enforce housing standards. The consultation closed on 1st February.
To clampdown on criminal landlords, the Council are proposing to introduce a number of powers such as:
- issuing financial penalties as an alternative to prosecution
- a new definition of licensable Houses in Multiple Occupation
- the power to add a landlord to the Rogue Landlords database
- additional offences where Rent Repayment Orders can be made
- banning orders to ban landlords from being a landlord
In the RLA’s response to the consultation, which you can read here, we state that we agree with what the council is proposing, and welcome that the council plans on making use of the enforcement powers that are available to them.
The Council proposes that they are able to impose financial penalties rather than prosecute landlords that commit the following offences under the Housing Act 2004. The level of fine depends on the individual circumstances of the offence. In our response to this, we have stated that we agree that these proposed fines are ‘proportionate and fair’ and make effective use of the enforcement powers given to councils under the Housing and Planning Act.
Rent Repayment Order proposal
Central Bedfordshire Council are also proposing to offer a (non-mandatory) service to tenants to assist with the process of applying for a rent repayment order. The service would be offered on a no win, no fee basis and if the tenant is able to recover rent, 10% of the amount recovered would be payable to Council cover the cost of this service. The RLA strongly agree with this proposal, and in our response we have also highlighted that the RLA offers trainihttps://www.rla.org.uk/landlord/courses/inhouseInterest.shtmlng in this area.