Rogue landlords to receive fines in bid to improve private rental standards

Section of a delapidated house

Posted on: 7 October 2019

Rogue landlords who fail to improve poor standards for their tenants are to receive hefty financial penalties, thanks to extra powers granted to councils.

At a meeting of North Devon Council’s Strategy and Resources Committee today (7 October 2019), councillors decided that fines should be issued to landlords who put their tenants at risk, in a bid to improve standards in the private rental sector and protect some of society’s most vulnerable residents.

The fines, which could be as much as £30,000, will be handed to landlords for housing offences where it thought that a financial penalty is a more appropriate course of action than prosecution. The size of the fine will be calculated on a case by case basis using a matrix system, which considers factors such as the level of harm caused to the tenant and any neglect or recklessness on the part of the landlord.

The council carried out a consultation with landlords, tenants, agents and statutory partners earlier in the year to gather views on the proposed plans. 78% of respondents agreed with the introduction of civil penalties as an alternative to going through the court system and all of those who completed the questionnaire agreed there was a need to improve standards in the private rented sector.

North Devon Council’s Lead Member for Housing, Councillor Nicola Topham says: “It is extremely regrettable that standards in some of the private rental sector properties in the district aren’t as high as they should be, with some of our most vulnerable residents living in dangerous or unhealthy conditions. Giving council officers the power to issue fines as an alternative to prosecution means that, not only will rogue landlords receive a suitably heavy penalty for putting their tenants at risk, but standards in the private rental sector will also be driven up as the fines act as a deterrent to others.”

If you have concerns about your landlord you can report them online at my.northdevon.gov.uk/service/Landlord

2 comments on “Rogue landlords to receive fines in bid to improve private rental standards

  1. Michael webb says:

    Hi I’ve got real problems with damp to the point that I’m having breathing difficulty . My daughter also stays with me in the property nothing happens when I call them unsure what to do next

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