UK Plans clean-up of private rented sector
28th June 2016
Despite a vast majority of private renters being satisfied with their accommodation, a small number of “rogue” landlords are failing to meet the requirements expected of them by local authorities. However, under new regulations set out by the UK government both landlords and letting agents who fail to comply face higher fines and possible blacklisting from the property industry. Growing concerns over the state of the private rented sector have prompted these changes to take place. For example, on a recent inspection of 40,000 privately rented properties, roughly 3000 were found to be of such poor condition that enforcement action or prosecution were required.
The proposals set out in the Department for Communities and Local Government Paper (DCLG) will have huge implications on the private rental market. Measures include; a blacklist of rogue landlords and letting agents, minimum fines for repeat offences and a “fit and proper person” test for landlords.
Landlords who fall below the regulatory standards are now at risk of being issued with civil penalties with fines as high as £5000. The proposal for new civil penalties could perhaps have the biggest impact on landlords with fines being issued easily and widely without referral to the courts.
As a final point, landlords will be held under more scrutiny in respect to rent repayments. Failure to comply with local authority orders may result in landlords having to repay all the rent they have received.