Harsher penalties for rogue landlords in York could soon come into force, while new licensing rules are close to being approved in Havering, east London.
City of York Council is considering imposing fines of up to £30,000 on landlords that do not meet safety and licensing regulations, as an alternative to prosecution.
The council believes that the proposed new measures will give it the additional powers needed to tackle poor quality rental homes in the local area, raise standards and give tenants the protections they need.
The decision follows an agreement by senior councillors almost two weeks ago that penalties could be used as formal enforcement action, to ensure that no landlord can gain financially from any failure to comply with legislation.
Councillor Sam Lisle, the Executive Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods at City of York Council, says: “Introducing these penalties follows Government guidelines and complements our work to support landlords to further improve standards, which I’m pleased to see is ongoing.”
Government guidance advises that, when setting the penalty for an offence, factors such as the level of culpability, level of harm, severity of the offence, mitigating factors and deterring other failures must be taken into account.
“High quality homes are good for the city’s private tenants and, in the long-term, for the landlords themselves,” Lisle adds.
The decision session will take place on Monday 16th October 2017 from 4pm and will be available to watch here: https://www.york.gov.uk/webcasts
Meanwhile, plans to introduce an additional licensing scheme across 12 wards in Havering, east London look set to be approved tomorrow.
Local councillors will meet to discuss the proposal to charge landlords £900 to register their properties with Havering Council.
Aside from boosting council finances, it is hoped that the proposed licensing scheme will help to improve local housing conditions and anti-social behaviour in locations where there are large numbers of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).
The 12 wards that would be affected are: Brooklands; Mawneys; Elm Park; Pettits; Gooshays; Rainham & Wennington; Harold Wood; Romford Town; Havering Park; South Hornchurch; Heaton; and Squirrels Heath.
Under the scheme, landlords in these areas would have to purchase five-year licences for their properties, paid in two parts, which would cost £900 in total – although a discounted fee of £762.50 is available for those who sign up before the end of February.
A council report, which is set to be debated by cabinet members, states: “The introduction of a suitable licensing scheme will enable a significant change in the way that anti-social behaviour and poor management associated with some of the private rented sector is tackled.
“Through licensing, the council will know who is responsible for the management of properties that are rented out and who is responsible for dealing with problems associated with the dwelling.”
We remind all landlords to stay on top of the regulations governing the private rental sector in the locations they operate.