Councils are weakening the principle of deterrence

Councils are weakening the principle of deterrence

8:44 AM, 4th August 2021, About 2 years ago 3

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Over half of local authorities in England have not issued any civil penalties against rogue or criminal landlords in the last three years according to a new survey.

Since April 2017 councils across England have been able to issue civil penalties of up to £30,000 for a range of housing offences. Income received can be re-invested by local authorities to help finance further enforcement against criminal operators who cause harm to tenants and give private renting a bad name.

Despite this, the results of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests from the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) show that between 2018/19 and 2020/21, only 130 local authorities in England out of 275 replying to the survey (47 per cent) had issued any civil penalties. Most had used only a handful with 71% of all civil penalties issued by just seven per cent of the local authorities.

40% of councils that had issued civil penalties had issued between just one and five over the past three years.

In total, fewer than 3,200 civil penalties were issued over the last three years by the local authorities responding to the survey. This is despite Ministers suggesting during the passage of the legislation to introduce them that there may be 10,500 rogue landlords in operation.

Commenting on the results of the survey, 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.

“The Government’s plans to reform the private rented sector due later this year will mean nothing if changes are not properly enforced.”

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Chris @ Possession Friend

13:51 PM, 4th August 2021, About 2 years ago

Another poorly framed approach by the NRLA. The lack of enforcement should be used as an argument AGAINST Licensing, and of course, you would have expected the NRLA to have focused upon the number of SUCCESSFUL interventions by L.A’s – without the need for Formal action.

Many landlords think the NRLA have joined forces with the Renter Coalition !

Reluctant Landlord

14:24 PM, 4th August 2021, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Chris @ Possession Friend at 04/08/2021 - 13:51
.....PLUS go on to show how good LL's are being easily targeted (financially and otherwise) by LA's simply because it is easier/cheaper/quicker than putting the legwork in to prosecute the BAD LL's!

Result - no change in actual situation of tenants with rogue LL's, only more chance of it increasing as the risk of being caught out reduces.

Monty Bodkin

16:36 PM, 4th August 2021, About 2 years ago

Liverpool City Council, which introduced the country’s first city-wide licensing scheme of rented properties last year, has announced new partnerships.

Cllr Frank Hont, cabinet member for housing, said:

“I am delighted that the RLA have come on board.

“It is a win-win for everyone"

....except perhaps the landlords and tenants who have to pay for it?

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