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Monday, October 19, 2015

Councils fail to tackle rogue landlords

Freedom of Information request by the RLA has discovered that over the past five years, a total of 2,006 landlords have been convicted of offences relating to the letting of property in England. 

The average fine for a conviction was £1,500.

The data also shows that more than a quarter of England's local authorities failed to prosecute a single landlord during this five years period.

Half of English local authorities prosecuted less than two landlords each year.

The RLA is campaigning for councils to use their existing powers to take action against rogue landlords instead of implementing expensive and ineffective landlord licensing schemes. 

Lawyer David Smith, policy director of the RLA, believes the new Housing Bill, introduced to parliament last week should bring an end to council landlord licensing schemes -

“Councils have plenty of powers to enforce standards in private rented housing and tackle criminal landlords. It is sad that at best the record on enforcement is patchy and at worst non-existent.”
The Housing Bill makes clear that landlord licensing schemes are not needed and serve only as a money raising exercise by councils.

Local authorities now have serious questions to answer. Why are they charging good landlords when they can collect the information they need to drive out criminal landlords using council tax registration forms for free.”

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