The Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP has made an announcement, that over 100 councils will now be provided access to funds in order to stop rogue landlords and/or letting agents.
We understand that the majority of Landlords provide and want to provide decent homes for their tenants and their tenants’ families. However there is always a small element that is seeking to maximise their profit at the expense and hardship of those tenants. This minority of bad Landlords, who do break the law, and provide properties which are unfit for human occupation will have legal action taken against them by councils and the power to do has now been provided to them. The Government has taken the approach that it is completely unacceptable for homes to fall short of basic standards, providing security and safety to tenants particularly those with families. It is the intention to strengthen councils powers to crack down on rogue landlords and hopefully drive up the standards in the private renting sector for tenants throughout the country. There are various initiatives being taken in this regard and the following are an example of these:-
- To train over 200 enforcement officers.
- To create a special operations unit.
- To provide care services to ensure that the most vulnerable younger tenants are in homes which are safe and secure.
- To trial a new technology to ascertain which properties could benefit from maintenance and repairs to provide them with a better EPC rating.
A number of councils are making examples of Landlords who fail to assist the Council in making sure their properties are fit for purpose and in particular those who rent properties without a HMO licence. Often these properties will also not have the basic requirements of a HMO, such as automatic fire detection in secured accommodation. Indeed on 13 December 2019 a Landlord in Luton was fined £27,000 for having provided a property for rent without a HMO Licence and in particular this case highlighted the lack of automatic fire detection, a major safety aspect of a HMO.
Should you have any concerns as a Landlord with regards to renting a property in respect of the above then please do not hesitate to contact Bowling & Co and our Specialist Property Litigation Team for advice.
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