City of York Council is holding a “decision session” today to discuss the introduction of fixed penalty notices for letting agents and landlords found to be deliberately flouting the law.
The council is looking at three pieces of legislation in particular:
- All letting and management agents must belong to a redress scheme to ensure any complaints by landlords or tenants are dealt with fairly.
- All letting agents must display details of all their fees and charges on their websites and in their offices.
- All landlords must install smoke detectors on every storey of every rented property and fit carbon monoxide alarms in every room where there is a solid fuel-burning appliance.
City of York Council ‘s executive member will also be asked to agree how the new legislation will be implemented and set levels of fines that the council can charge for non-compliance. The recommendation is for a maximum £5,000 penalty for each instance of non-compliance and to delegate the power to the Housing Services Manager who will be given discretion to lower the fine in extenuating circumstances.
Councillor David Carr, executive member for housing and safer neighbourhoods, said: “While we acknowledge that the majority of York’s letting agents serve landlords and tenants well, we want to support and recognise good practice while penalising those who fall below required standards. The city’s private rented sector has grown significantly and accommodates some of our most vulnerable households and we want to ensure they get a fair deal.”
The “decision session” will take place today, Tuesday 25 August, at City of York Council’s West Offices from 12 noon and is open to members of the public or is available to watch live online from: www.york.gov.uk/webcasts