Posts with tag: complaining about landlords

Call for Rogue Landlords to be Jailed

Published On: September 21, 2015 at 12:55 pm


Categories: Landlord News

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The Local Government Association (LGA) has called for rogue landlords that commit the most serious housing offences to be jailed.

The statement arrives as a response to the Government consultation on dealing with criminal landlords and letting agents.

The LGA, which represents councils in England and Wales, also called for tougher sentencing powers for magistrates and a wider range of penalties, so that rogue landlords are sufficiently held responsible for letting out sub-standard housing.

The body has also supported Government proposals for a blacklist of persistent criminal landlords to be formed.

Call for Rogue Landlords to be Jailed

Call for Rogue Landlords to be Jailed

Councillor Peter Box, the housing spokesperson at the LGA, says: “For the private rented sector to succeed, it needs a local response, led by councils. That means giving councils the tools to be truly effective against landlords who take advantage of tenants.

“The courts need to punish rogue landlords proportionately and there should be a consistent standard when it comes to licensing. But we also need to tackle this problem at source by finding ways to ensure there is an adequate supply of good quality housing in the private rented sector.”

Box continues: “We know that the majority of tenants in the private rented sector are satisfied with their accommodation, but that shouldn’t distract from the fact there are far too many rogue landlords creating misery for people who often see themselves as having little choice but to put up with it.

“It is no coincidence that problems are more prevalent in areas where economic conditions and the local housing market have driven demand higher than supply and we need to recognise that the real solution is creating conditions where landlords can’t afford to neglect their responsibilities and exploit their tenants.”1

Responding to the consultation, the LGA has created a list of recommendations. These include:

  • Introducing sentencing guidelines on Housing Act offences as a priority, ensuring consistent and suitable fines. For more serious offences, an amendment to the Housing Act, bringing in a new range of penalties, from a fine up to a community order or custodial sentence.
  • Creating a blacklist of persistent offenders, making it easier for councils to refuse to issue landlord licenses and other enforcement, so long as the administration process and cost of compiling a list is not the responsibility of local authorities.
  • Strengthening of the fit and proper person test for landlords to offer a clear outline to remove uncertainty for councils and landlords and provide a strong basis for accepting or refusing a license.
  • Amending the notice period and compensation arrangements for Article 4 planning powers, so that councils can respond to local concerns over high proportions of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).
  • Giving powers to councils to earmark additional public land for the private rental sector through large-scale investment.

The LGA highlights one particularly severe case in Wolverhampton, where the city council enforced an emergency prohibition order, evacuating tenants from a property because it was so dangerous.

The home had 11 serious safety breaches, including: no electricity, gas or water; missing fire escapes so that doors opened onto an outside drop of three storeys; no firm alarm or fire doors; the front door could not be locked and a stranger was found sleeping on the tenant’s sofa.

The landlord was fined just £2,600 and the council was forced to pay costs of around £5,500.



TDS Reports 25% Increase in Deposit Disputes

The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) has reported a 25% increase in tenancy deposit disputes, reaching 11,900 last year.

TDS Reports 25% Increase in Deposit Disputes

TDS Reports 25% Increase in Deposit Disputes

The value of deposits protected by the TDS also rose, by £100m last year, to more than £1.3 billion. This is £300m more than other service providers.

The TDS is the only scheme that allows landlords and letting agents, as well as tenants, to raise disputes.

Last year, over half of disputes (53%) were raised by tenants, 35% by agents and 12% by landlords.

The TDS revealed that 19.2% of all disputes raised last year resulted in 100% pay-outs to tenants, 19.8% of all disputes raised by landlords or agents ended in 100% pay-outs to them, and in the remaining 61% of cases, the disputed money was split between the parties.

The majority of disputes in England and Wales were over cleaning, at 58%. 52% of disputes involved damage, 32% included redecoration, 17% were over gardening and rent arrears caused 10% of disputes.

In Scotland and Northern Ireland, the main causes for disputes were cleaning and damage, but rent arrears was in third place.

In total, 14,967 disputes were resolved, including in Northern Ireland and Scotland, where spin-off schemes are run.

The average amount of money disputed in cases in England and Wales was £831 last year.

The average deposit in England and Wales is £1,181, in Northern Ireland it is £592 and £690 in Scotland.

The TDS annual report can be read here: