Consultation on fines for rogue landlords

Posted on: 26 March 2019

Rogue landlords who leave their tenants in poor accommodation may soon face hefty financial penalties, thanks to extra powers granted to councils.

Following a change in the law in 2016, North Devon Council could now issue fines to landlords who put their tenants at risk, as an alternative to prosecuting them.

The proposed fines, which could be as much as £30,000, will be handed out for offences such as failing to install and maintain fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, failing to license houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) and exposing tenants to asbestos or mould. The size of the fine will be calculated on a case by case basis using a matrix system to rate the severity of the offences committed by the landlord.

North Devon Council is carrying out a consultation with landlords, tenants, agents and statutory partners to gather views on the proposed plans. At the end of the consultation period the council’s Executive members will decide whether council officers will use their powers to issue fines to landlords without going through the court system.

North Devon Council’s Head of Environmental Health and Housing, Jeremy Mann says: “Unfortunately, standards in the private rental sector aren’t as high as they should be and, while there are many good, responsible landlords in our district, there are also some who have little regard for the health and safety of their tenants. These fines would serve as punishment to such landlords, as well as acting as a deterrent to others like them. We look forward to hearing from landlords, tenants and agents alike on what they think of the proposals.”

The consultation is available on North Devon Council’s website northdevon.gov.uk/rent-consultation and will run for seven weeks from 1 April to 20 May. Participating in the online survey will give you the opportunity to win a £25 cash prize. If you have concerns about your landlord you can report them online at my.northdevon.gov.uk/service/Landlord

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