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Rogue landlords face £30,000 fines in tough new crackdown

New measures including £30,000 fines to tackle the problem of rogue landlords have now come into force. 

Councils also have new powers to access tenancy deposit protection data to help them identify rental properties in their area, and deal with the small minority of rogue landlords who flout the rules and shirk their responsibilities.  

Councils are now able to impose fines of up to £30,000 as an alternative to prosecution for a range of housing offences. They will be able to retain all the income to make sure it is used for private sector housing enforcement purposes. 

Rent repayment orders, which can be issued to penalise landlords managing or letting unlicensed properties, have also been extended to cover a wider range of situations. These include the illegal evictions or harassment of the occupiers of a property, using violence to secure entry and the breach of a banning order. 

Housing and Planning Minister Gavin Barwell said: “By driving out of business those rogue landlords that continue to flout the rules, we can raise standards, improve affordability and give tenants the protections they need.” 

In a separate move, letting agents’ fees will also be banned to give renters greater clarity and control over what they pay. 

Other intended measures to help renters include working to ensure longer-term family friendly tenancies are available in the private sector to provide more stability for those who are currently renting. 

Ministers have also accepted the recommendations of the Client Money Protection working group to make it mandatory for all agents to protect the client money they handle. The government intends to stage a public consultation on the issue later this year, assuming it is returned to power. 

Please contact us if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of commercial property law.