Rogue Landlords Fines

Councils Failed To Collect Half Of Rogue Landlords Fines

A PRS trade body’s data revealed that just under half of rogue landlords fines have been collected by local councils.

The organisation obtained the data from its Freedom of Information request which found that £13 million of civil penalties were issued by councils between 2021 and 2023, but only £6 million has so far been collected.

Authorities have powers to issue civil penalties of up to £30,000 to rogue landlords for a number of offences which should be used to support and fund increasing enforcement teams and actions.

The trade body’s report also shows that virtually half of landlords – 49 per cent – failed to issue any rogue landlord civil penalties between 2021 and 2023 whilst 69 per cent issued only five or less fines.

The figures ‘appearance’ coincides with the Renters Reform Bill going through its last parliamentary steps which grants councils further powers to issue civil penalties for additional rogue landlords offences.

This asks the question how will the authorities cope with extra ‘opportunities’ to carry out actions resulting in fines when half of them have failed to use their current powers.

The organisation wants a new position created of a UK Chief Environmental Health Officer to be in charge of a concerted effort to implement improved enforcement actions against rogue landlords.

It also calls for the government to set up a recruitment and training fund to increase council enforcement teams and better communication support network citing best practice between councils.

A spokesperson for the organisation, says: “Rogue and criminal landlords cause misery for their tenants and undermine the reputation of the responsible majority. Tackling them should be a high priority for councils.

“At a time of tight budgets, it is strange that councils are failing to collect the fines levied on those landlords failing to do the right thing.

“It makes a mockery of the deterrent such fines should be. It will also come as a bitter blow to the many responsible landlords who comply with, and exceed, their responsibilities – but are subject to licensing regimes and associated fees all the same.

“It is vital that the Government and councils work together to boost the capacity of enforcement teams to make better use of the existing powers they have to tackle poor quality housing.

“Without this, additional protections for tenants in the Renters Reform Bill run the risk of being meaningless.”

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