The Housing Minister, Gavin Barwell, has reinforced the Government’s efforts to tackle rogue landlords.
The Government’s Measures to Tackle Rogue Landlords
Following questions from Jon Trickett, the Shadow Lord President of the Council and Campaigns and Elections Chair, Barwell explained the Government’s measures to drive rogue landlords out of the private rental sector.
Trickett asked Barwell, who is also the Minister of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), what information the department holds on the number of rogue landlords in England and each local authority area in the country.
Barwell responded: “The department does not hold this information. The Housing and Planning Act 2016 introduced a package of measures to help local authorities crack down on rogue landlords. This includes a database of rogue landlords and property agents who have been convicted of a banning order offence or have received at least two civil penalties for housing related offences. The database, which will be accessible to local authorities and DCLG, is expected to go live on 1st October 2017.”
When asked what steps he is taking to help strengthen local authority powers to deal with rogue landlords, Barwell explained: “The Government introduced a package of measures in the Housing and Planning Act 2016 to help local authorities crack down on rogue landlords.
“They comprise civil penalties of up to £30,000 as an alternative to prosecution, the expansion of Rent Repayment Orders to cover a wider range of offences, a database of rogue landlords and property agents, and banning orders to prevent serious and prolific offenders from being involved in the renting out or management of private rented properties.”
He continued: “In addition, over the past five years, we have made £12m available to a range of local authorities to help them tackle acute and complex problems associated with rogue landlords. This has resulted in the inspection of over 70,000 properties, with more than 5,000 landlords now facing further enforcement action.”
Landlords, are you ready for the changes that will soon be introduced through the Housing and Planning Act 2016? Keep up to date with your responsibilities by checking out this guide for landlords: /landlords-ready-housing-planning-act-2016/