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Labour council to charge landlords £500 for Improvement Notices

A local authority is introducing charges for the issuing of Improvement Notices to landlords - and has chosen to announce it now, in the build up to Christmas.

A statement from Brighton’s Labour council says: “We are introducing charges for issuing ‘Improvement Notices’ to landlords who fail to carry out work to make sure private rented homes meet required standards. The measure is being taken as part of our work to improve privately rented homes in the city.

“The new charges will be introduced from January 2 2024 for issuing improvement notices and other notices under the Housing Act 2004 and our Private Sector Housing Enforcement Policy. The aim is to cover the cost of taking enforcement action, with the charge made to the landlord where a responsible person does not engage with us. 


“The cost will be on a case by case basis, depending on the staff time involved and expenses incurred. We estimate it will be around £500.”

The statement claims that while many landlords run their properties responsibly, issues reported to the council suggest the standard of private rented homes across the city “is not consistent” - hence the charge for issuing an Improvement Notice.

“If the landlord does not comply with the notice, we will still consider prosecution or a financial penalty, as we do now” says the statement.

Councillor Gill Williams, chair of the housing and new homes committee, says: “We are committed to tackling problems in the city’s private rented homes and taking a stronger approach to landlords who don’t look after their properties or respect their tenants’ rights to enjoy their home.

“We know there are a lot of responsible landlords, but we also hear time and again from residents about other landlords who fail to maintain their properties. Our private sector housing team works with landlords to bring about improvements in rental accommodation.

“Under the Deregulation Act 2015, improvement notices can protect tenants from revenge evictions when they’ve complained about the condition of a property. This is an important focus of our work to make sure private tenants are protected.

“We are introducing charges to cover the costs incurred by the council of enforcing improvements in this way.”

The exact charge - which could exceed £500 if the council sees fit - varies according to the inspection time including travel time, the “evaluation of inspection, preparation of defects schedule and specification” and the “administration costs in typing, serving and recording of notices.”

And the council says this will be based on “our hourly chargable rates.”

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    Those council pensions won’t pay for themselves, you know.😉

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    Just more cash grab from your local council. That’s why they want SL more powers to create more charges. They just envy the fact you have a rental property

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    Legalised theft has no boundaries or limits it would seem. How many times can you charge for the same so called service and get away with it?

  • Peter Why Do I Bother

    So if they wish to charge for admin fees and travelling then surely a reduction in Council Tax bills should be forthcoming for the good people of Brighton. If the council employees are carrying out their job then the cost is already paid for by the Council Tax.

    Do Landlords not end up paying in some cases double during voids and use no council services at all, again another set of Labour councillors that cannot manage the money?

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    So how much are they going to charge their own housing departments for the huge number of unresolved complaints, mould issues, damp issues etc. Will they be issuing themselves these notices with fines??...I think.we all need to know this!!

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    Kerching 💰💰 we all know others will follow, and with other made up reasons to fleece us 🤐 . The new Labour government will wipe the floor with the PRS.

    Robert Black

    I fear you are right and it will all end in tears

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    DISGUSTING. They already get council tax etc. On top is the legalised theft of these BS licences. Now they want to charge every time they send a letter out. Even after raking it it, they will place it up the wall on some other BS scheme like closing all the roads off turning them into LTNs or cycles lanes. Absolute jockies.

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    • A JR
    • 18 December 2023 10:27 AM

    The coming catastrophic collapse of the PRS will be down among others, to the numb heads propagating these council led ‘sequestration and theft’ policies. The return on their extortion money will be a national disaster.

  • David Hollands

    If they do that i will put the rent up to cover the extra cost.!!
    All the new change result in tenant paying more rent. !!


    Hopefully they would never have reason to issue you with an improvement notice, but at £500 a pop and given it is Brighton, those notices may fly out thick and fast. 😠


    I had the Council around due to the tenants growing mould. I got a 'letter' instructing me to complete some works in 28 days. It was a 'letter' rather than being an official 'notice'. The officer was I thought thoroughly reasonable and just doing her job. But as you have said I think the councils will be under pressure just to issue notices charging £500 each time. It's theft. It's just simple as that.

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    • D B
    • 18 December 2023 13:16 PM

    Many Councils already charge for various types of formal enforcement as the Regulations allow them to and many are facing bankruptcy which most residents won’t want. Also, whilst most Authorities initially use informal means of obtaining compliance there is a need for formal action such as IN’s and such charges act as a deterrent to those who chose not to maintain their rented properties appropriately. The costs of serving formal notices are covering costs and targeted so a user pays system.

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    No, it is not justified charges of £500 a pop and then charging for sending letters which are just templates. We know the council collect the HMO fees and they never visit the properties at all. Just clerical work at the desk. Everyone one knows councils cannot administer the vast amount of cash they receive in CT, penalties for using bus lanes, parking fees, Councils suddenly change a through road to suddenly stop cars from going through certain roads and make heavy fines. Over the years, the increase in council tax has been more than the inflation. Councils have become legal cash cows and still cannot match their expenditure. Bankruptcies in galore for a number of councils. To avoid these bankruptcy, now evade the private landlords. They are exhausting ideas of collecting various fines, penalties and taxes.


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