Hefty fines could soon be issued to rogue landlords in Bradford without being taken to court, under plans due to be approved by Bradford Council today.
If the proposals are approved by the council’s decision making executive later today, landlords could face fines of up to £30,000 for various offences, including illegal evictions and failure to meet licensing conditions, without the need to go through the magistrates court system, with the worst offenders facing criminal prosecution, in accordance with the rules set out as part of the government’s Housing and Planning Act 2016.
Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, executive member for regeneration, said: “We welcome this new legislation and the new powers we have which means we can impose civil penalties as an alternative to prosecution. This means it will be quicker and easier to take action against bad landlords.
“The importance of the private rented sector in the district has grown significantly from 11% of housing in 2007 to 18% in 2015 and this is where problems tend to occur. We need to address these as everyone has the right to a decent home.”
The new proposals also include rent repayment orders, meaning tenants could be recompensed by the property tribunal for money paid while they were living in sub-standard housing.
“Six months on from changes to the Housing and Planning Act being introduced, we’re finally starting to see local councils getting their act together and making the necessary amendments to their housing enforcement strategies,” Gavin Dick, policy Officer at the National Landlords Association, told the Telegraph & Argus.
“However,” he added, “these changes will mean nothing unless Bradford Council adopts a proactive approach to enforce against the very worst rogue and criminal landlords who make some tenants’ lives a misery, and give the rest of the law-abiding landlord community a bad name.”