Rogue landlords will soon be facing penalties of up to £30,000 from 6 April, as part of a government crackdown on poor standards of housing. These new measures will be enforced under the Housing and Planning Act and will include powers to prosecute landlords.
It’s estimated that there are around two million private landlords in the UK, who own and let out five million properties.
The income raised from the penalties under these new measures will be used to pay for future enforcement activities. Local authorities will also have access to information from deposit protection schemes, to help them have a better picture of the rental market in their area.
Over a million tenant victims
Between 2015 and 2016, over a million, or one in eight, private renters across the UK had a bad experience with a landlord who had broken the law.
In a survey last year by housing charity Shelter and YouGov, 3,250 renters shared their experiences of being a tenant. More than 600,000 tenants said their landlords would come into their home without prior notice or permission.
Also, over 200,000 described being harassed, abused and even threatened by their landlord. While 110,000 renters, believed they had been treated unfairly because of their sexual orientation, gender, nationality or race.
Furthermore, the survey discovered 64,000 renters had their utilities cut off by their landlord without their consent and almost 50,000 said the landlord had changed the locks and thrown their possessions out of their home.
Government committed to banning rogue landlords
Last December, the government revealed it planned to consult on its plans to ban rogue property agents and landlords who do not provide tenants with a safe place to live.
The proposals will see agents and landlords who abuse or mistreat their tenants, to be issued with a ban that could be permanent. This means that a landlord would not be able to let or manage a property ever again.
When a banning order is issued, the person’s name would be added to a national database of rogue landlords and property agents. Bans could be issued when rogue landlords commit serious offences against their tenants. These might include illegally evicting tenants, threaten them with violence, or failure to undertake work ordered by the council to prevent any risks to health and safety to the occupants.
The government confirmed that the banning order would only relate to offences committed after the new regulations had been brought in.