Local authorities provided with rogue agent and landlord enforcement toolkit

The government has this week published a learning toolkit for local authorities to help them with enforcement against rogue landlords and letting agents.

The interactive resources, provided by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MCHLG), include a knowledge bank, interactive learning tool and action plan.

MCHLG says the resources are aimed to complement its refreshed enforcement guidance launched in April 2019.

“The toolkit facilitates the development and application of enforcement expertise to a range of scenarios,” says MCHLG in a statement.

“It offers guidance to local authorities about taking a sustainable approach to enforcement and will help them develop an action plan going forward.”

The knowledge bank includes detailed answers to questions raised by local authority enforcement offices during nationwide training workshops earlier this year.

The questions cover topics including regulatory issues, environmental concerns and landlord and tenant behaviour.

Meanwhile, the learning tool provides:

– a knowledge check section which helps enforcement officers to assess existing awareness of enforcement guidance and legislation on rogue landlords;
– a scenario section which enables officers to apply their knowledge to a range of different cases, such as when dealing with overcrowding or houses in multiple occupation;
– a guided exercise aimed at supporting local authority officers to implement their enforcement strategy in a practical way;
– further information on guidance and policy support available to local authorities regarding enforcement issues.

The news follows a recent London Trading Standards investigation which revealed that a huge number of letting agencies in the capital have broken the law, resulting in £1.2 million of fines and 14 criminal prosecutions being issued.

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