SKDC to tackle 'rogue landlords'
Rogue landlords could face penalties of up to £30,000 in a new bid by South Kesteven District Council (SKDC) to improve standards of private housing.
A draft Private Sector Housing Enforcement Policy accepts most landlords provide well managed and safe homes but ‘some’ do not.
South Kesteven currently has 12,700 privately rented homes, about a fifth of the total, which is twice the amount in 2006, with further growth expected under the council’s ‘ambitious’ targets to boost the district’s economy and population.
A report prepared for Tuesday’s meeting of Communities and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee says SKDC needs a full review of its housing enforcement policy due to recent changes in legislation where the government gave councils new powers to tackle unsatisfactory housing conditions.
A raft of penalties is highlighted in the 22-page policy draft.
Among them are civil penalties for the ‘very worst offenders’, with a general principle that a landlord should find it cheaper to provide good housing.
Rent-repayment orders of up to 12 months could also be made, with ‘banning orders’ preventing landlords or letting agents from operating for up to 12 months. Their details would also be entered in a national database of rogue landlords.
Properties would also be expected to meet energy efficiency standards. Mandatory registration of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) would be extended.
SKDC plans a 4-week public consultation on its draft, with a focus on landlords.