News Rogue Landlords: New Legislation To Improve The Industry?
Published by Ben on 16th September, 2017
There are a number of industries where the actions of a few people can impact on everyone who operates in the industry. It is fair to say that the majority of car dealers or double glazing sales professionals are good people who try to do their job effectively but the actions of a few people ensures these professionals have a bad reputation. This isn’t quite the case in the letting sector but there is no doubt that there are some bad or rogue landlords operating in the market.
The actions of these landlords put lives at risk and this means that the entire industry is slightly tarnished or placed under the spotlight. This is why regulations brought into force in April of 2017 have been welcomed by many in the industry, even if it means they now have higher standards to reach in doing their job. An industry that is seen to clean up its act and to actively encourage good behaviour is one that people want to work alongside, so these rules should be seen as positive for the industry as a whole.
Local council authorities now have more powers
There are a number of different aspects to the new guidelines but a key factor has been the powers offered to local authorities in cracking down on rogue landlords who do not act in an appropriate manner. It is now possible for local council authorities to impose fines, up to a level of £30,000 and the council will be able to retain this income, which will befunnelled back into private sector housing enforcement purposes.
There has also been an extension of rent repayment orders, and these now cover a wider range of incidents and situations. These orders can be imposed on landlords who are managing or letting properties that are unlicensed but can also now be imposed on landlords who carry out illegal evictions, who harass tenants, who use violence to gain entry to property and who have breached a banning order.
Changes were also made to the level of access that councils have to the date collected under deposit protection schemes, which should assist council authorities in identifying rental properties. This should be of benefit and again, if it can increase the safety for tenants, it should be of benefit.
There may be more changes to come in the letting market
The current White Paper on Housing has also listed a range of intended measures, which will hopefully assist tenants. Some of the proposed measures include:
· Altering planning rules to assist local councils in planning for build for rent developments
· Options that will see developers have the chance to offer affordable rent in addition to other affordable housing options
· Changes to tenancy periods, hopefully creating more family friendly tenancy periods
Ultimately, it is hoped that these developments will make it easier to remove the rogue landlords from the sector, which will hopefully create a better and fairer market place. With any change, there are concerns over the full impact and hopefully tenants will not be inconvenienced or placed at risk by any of these changes. This is something that will need to be examined over time but certainly the ideas look to be of benefit in making a safer environment for tenants and a fairer and more competitive market place for firms that operate in a lawful manner.