The RLA has called for guaranteed long-term funding of housing enforcement in its response to a consultation to a draft PRS enforcement policy in North Kesteven
The response, which can be read here explains that councils will be able to plan, and take effective action against those who exploit tenants through dangerous properties, if guaranteed long term funding of housing enforcement were in place. The consultation also touched upon legal powers its sister Council, South Kesteven District Council has when it comes to introducing licencing schemes in the future if ever considered.
The consultation, which ran from 16th April 2018 to 14th May 2018, recognized the importance of the private rented housing sector in providing “valuable good quality accommodation and meeting housing need.”
The RLA’s response goes on to make the point that the majority of landlords, who are providing a good service to their tenants, are currently subsiding action against criminal landlords, through costly and often ineffective licensing schemes, and this should not be happening.
The RLA welcomes measures that were introduced by the Housing and Planning Act 2016, including introducing powers for local authorities such as civil penalties for certain housing offences which can result in severe fines and the money from those fines being retained by the local authority.
However, it believes that a more long term solution is needed to drive out criminal landlords out of private renting, instead of continuing to issue fines to employ council staff members.
The RLA believes that the private rented sector is mature enough to implement a regime of self-regulation, taking pressure off hard-pressed local authorities, freeing up further resources to target the criminals operating in the sector.
Other aspects of enforcement are touched upon in the consultation response, including HHSR and Energy Efficiency.