Landlord group: Councils are not doing enough to penalise rogue landlords

Over half of councils have failed to issue civil penalties against rogue landlords in the past three years.

The research came from the National Residential Landlords Association, which called on councils to do more to penalise bad landlords.

According to a Freedom of Information requests issued by the association, only 130 local authorities out of 275 have issued any civil penalties in three years.

Chris Norris, director of policy and campaigns at the NRLA, said: “Our findings show that most councils are failing to use all the tools available to them to tackle rogue and criminal landlords.

“By failing to apply appropriate sanctions to punish wrongdoing, councils are weakening the principle of deterrence which underpins the civil penalties regime.

“We are calling on all councils to ensure they are making full and proper use of the powers they have to tackle those landlords who cause misery to tenants and bring the sector into disrepute.”

Ever singe April 2017 councils in England have been able to issue civil penalties of up to £30,000 for housing offences – but many aren’t using the powers.

Of the councils that have used civil penalties 40% only issued between one and five, suggesting it’s a rare occurrence.

A Local Government Association spokesperson said: “Councils take tenants’ complaints seriously and are doing everything they can to address any issues and work with the private rented sector to raise standards.

“However, some may be resolved without the need for inspection and enforcement is a last resort when all other options fail.

“The private rented sector is growing, which is why it is important councils have the right funding so they can take action where necessary.”

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