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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

£30k fines for rogue landlords under new laws

The Government is poised to introduce tough new laws for landlords this week – with fines of up to £30,000 for those who break the rules.

Housing minister Brandon Lewis told The Sun newspaper that the Government will announce a package of measures to drive out rogue property owners and agents.

The new rules mean local councils will be able to issue a new civil penalty notice on offenders to provide an instant deterrent for “criminal” operators.

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Fines will be increased for landlords who fail to take action on overcrowding, hazardous conditions, poor sanitation, electrical faults, damp and vermin infestation.

Measures to be introduced in the Housing and Planning Bill also mean landlords and agents who repeatedly break the rules will be banned from operating in the private rented sector.

A database of rogue landlords and letting agents will also be available for council staff to access. Civil penalties can be up to £5,000 as the law stands, but the average is £1,500.

Lewis told The Sun: “The private rental sector is still afflicted by too many rogues, who rent dangerous, dirty and overcrowded properties without a thought for the welfare of their tenants. We are determined to crack down.”

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    Another day another proposal?
    Most of these rogue landlords rent out for cash and are 'off the radar'.
    I am all for 'weeding them out', but I would like to know how effective these new measures are going to be?
    Tenants who live in these properties are unlikely to shop the landlord as they are usually paying below market rent. Also, quite a few of the tenants in overcrowded properties are of Eastern European extract and they are not aware of the rules and choose to live in cramped conditions so that they can maximise the amount of money they send home.

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    The biggest issue I find is with illegal subletting and short let's which allows rogue tenants to rent to as many residents as they like saying they are friends of the family and take cash. There is no sufficent law to bring these people to justice and remove tenants quick enough. Can a landlord be responsible then for illegal subletting by thier tenants and no law to protect the landlord. Also a big security risk in today's world where the landlord does not even then know or have the ID of the people living in thier properties when being sublett. Government needs to act and make this a criminal offence and be able to arrest Rouge tenants for persistent subletting and remove people from living in landlords properties who have rented illegally without the landlord having to suffer at every stage. Most private landlords have worked hard to sacrifice and pay taxes to be able to afford a house to the rent and follow all the regulations as thier property is one of the biggest assets they own and would want to take care of this. But instead are hit time after time without any protection to them. We need a fairer system NOW. This may not win votes hence the government does not act.

  • Peter Lassman

    How pathetic are the Council and the Government, they set a low fine limit of £1500 and expect us to applaud them when they realise their lever is futile and far too low to have any effect on so called Rogue Landlords, the power to fine higher for bad properties has been around for a long time the council need to grow Balls and weed out these Rogues by hitting them where it hurts, IN THE POCKET, IN THE POCKET, if i say it twice it might get heard,and sort the problem out and then Councils and the Government might stop attacking Private Landlords as a whole and accept that without us their system would fall to bits and come CRASHING around their Necks as they could not cope and would have no way of housing all the now Evicted Tenants if Private Landlords did not exist, they should Embrace us and stop kicking and picking on us

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    Absolutely Peter, unfortunately it is 'open season' on landlords at the moment with proposal after proposal coming out from government and local authorities and it is the genuine landlords that often suffer with increased regulation and bureaucracy?

     
  • Bob Leydon MARLA

    I favour any legislation that helps to make the lettings market a safer level playing field. Presently the compliant lettings agents and landlords spend disproportionally more time and money achieving such compliance. Meanwhile those less conscientious, reason that statistically, they are unlikely to ever get caught, therefore, they do not need to prioritise safety. Ordinarily I would say, "safety - bring it on!" However, with the current government restrictions on MIR, resulting in many landlords set to make a net loss, by 2020, it is arguable whether all landlords will still to be able to afford to continue to comply.

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    Hi Bob.
    Tell that to the bureaucrats making the legislation?
    They never seem to consult anyone with any real knowledge on the subject and just 'pile drive' their way through without thinking it out properly?
    In Wales where I operate, they have imposed registration on us and of course the so-called rogue landlords who are off the radar and rebate out for cash (of which there are many in my area) are not going to bother.

     
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