Tougher Action To Be Taken On Rogue Landlords & Letting Agents
The housing and planning act implementation means a start for more draconian and tougher measures to be taken out on rogue landlords and letting agents.
The measures they have put in place aim to give councils and local authorities more power and control of regulating and acting against those giving landlords and letting agents a bad name through unruly and unethical practices.
Currently, we have seen a number of measures take place that has been in enforcement since April 6th, 2017.
These measures are:
• Higher Fines
If you can’t pay the fine don’t do the crime… which, is sadly a reality at times where landlords would rather just pay the fine rather than cooperate. By increasing the fines that can be handed out to Landlords and Letting Agents will discourage this
• Rent Repayment Orders
Rent repayment orders have actually been in place since 2004, however, it seems that not many have been issued since this came in. To improve the effectiveness of this legislation the DCLG has widened what rent repayment orders can be applied to. Doing so, it now means that properties that fail to keep up with the local authority’s orders on things such as damp will be ordered to repay all the rent received
• Fixed Penalty notices
This will eliminate the need for local authorities and councils to prosecute Landlords to fine them. Landlords can now receive anything up to a £30,000 fine for each offence in a fixed penalty notice
• TDP data given to Councils
Councils and local authorities will be given access to the TDP database, aka the rogue landlord and agent database. This will give them greater control over who to allow to operate within their jurisdiction
It is worth considering that all of these legislations we are seeing come in now made up parts of the Conservative manifesto from 2015. You can use this 2-year time period as a rough idea for how long other legislations take to come into practice after they have been proposed (The lettings fees ban for instance!)
Banning orders will be introduced around October 1st, 2017, however, due to the recent disruption of our Government and new Housing Minister, this is only a rough date due to a number of growing uncertainties.
Banning orders will give councils and local authorities increased power over preventing rogue landlords and agents from continuing to practise their profession.
Individuals can be banned for the following:
• Housing Offenses
• Immigration Offenses
• Serious Criminal Convictions
• Offences involving managed property IE a landlord aware that his property is being used for illegal activity (Brothels, drug farms etcetera)
Bans applied will prevent the landlord or agent in questions from operating for at least 12 months. During this time, the council or local authority will be able to take control of the property for this duration, receiving all money taken from rent. At the same time, any expenses from the property will still have to be covered by the landlord responsible.
A glimmer of hope?
Rogue landlords and agents have been a problem for many a long time now, causing detrimental and destructive results for those on the receiving end of their practices. As a result, this has created a long term and damaging factor in the professional and trustworthy image that Landlords and Letting agents have worked so hard to achieve and maintain.
Now, we know that not all Landlords or letting agents are rogue and that you take pride in the high quality of service you provide for your clients, tenants and landlords.
You should not be worried by these developments if you are truly an honest agent or landlord, which the vast majority are. This is why we welcome these stricter and harder penalties for those who are committing offences, and not forgetting to mention, allowing the right authorities the adequate amount of power to ensure that these are enforced across board – not taken lightly.
A glimmer of hope for the image of the PRS industry? Will we manage to stamp out rogues once and for all?
Will we manage to stamp out rogue’s once and for all?
What do you think? Tweet us with your thoughts and views! @HinchPM
We would also like to this opportunity to thank the Rightmove Hub for organising their valuable webinars with some very sought after guests. Their latest webinar with David Cox, Chief Executive at ARLA Propertymark expressed a large number of key points we have used in this article.