Council plans to take on new powers to tackle rogue landlords

16/01/2018, PR8728

Wakefield Council’s Cabinet is being asked to give the green light to new powers to take tougher action against rogue landlords who do not comply with the standards required.

The Council’s key decision makers are also being asked to approve a new Strategic Housing Enforcement Policy for the district to help improve conditions in private rented accommodation.

If approved, the Council will gain powers to issue penalties to landlords, of up to £30,000 per offence, in certain circumstances where they fail to repair, manage or improve their properties when required to do so. Non-payment will be enforced through the County Court.

The Council would gain new enforcement powers to:

• Pursue landlords more vigorously and in particular, use the legislation as a deterrent and a punishment
• Protect tenants and reduce inequalities of housing conditions often experienced in the private rented sector
• Reduce the hazards in homes that case ill health, such as dampness, cold, fire, poor bathrooms and kitchens.

Cllr Denise Jeffery
Cllr Denise Jeffery

Cllr Denise Jeffery, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Regeneration, said: “The private rented sector has grown in recent years, with 15% of housing in the district now being privately rented. This means that there are thousands more people living in privately rented accommodated and there are hundreds more landlords.

“Most landlords run good properties but by taking on these new powers we will be able to deal with the worst landlords and the most commonly reported poor conditions from tenants more quickly and effectively. The new enforcement policy will also help to improve housing conditions, provide safer and warmer homes in the private sector and bring empty homes back into use.”

The report is being discussed by Wakefield Council’s Cabinet on Tuesday 23 January.

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