The head of housing at Woking Borough Council has vowed to clampdown on landlords in the local area that put tenants’ ‘safety at risk’.
Cllr Colin Kemp, Woking Borough Council’s portfolio holder for housing services, is urging landlords to get their rental properties in order to ensure that their tenants are safe, or risk receiving hefty fines.
The council is currently coming down hard on landlords that are seen to be shirking their obligations, with three landlords set to face trial at Redhill Magistrates’ Court in the coming weeks for failing to comply with improvement notices and for operating unlicensed rental homes.
Kemp said: “I hope news of this court action sends a very clear message to private landlords, that we will not tolerate poor standards or blatant disregard for tenants’ safety.
“Where we find evidence of this, we will build a case and will seek to prosecute.”
New rules will come into play next year which means that landlords could face fines of up to £30,000 for a wide selection of offences, ranging from electrical safety and disrepair to failure to provide gas and electric certificates, as part of wider efforts to improve rental standards in the town.
“With the number of people and families renting from private landlords at an all-time high, it is the Council’s duty to ensure they are not exploited by unscrupulous or negligent property owners,” Kemp added.
Woking Borough Council is soon introducing an accreditation scheme in partnership with the National Landlord Association.
Information about private sector housing standards, requirements for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) and how to apply for a HMO property licence can be found by clicking here.