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Two thirds of councils in England and Wales brought no prosecutions against private landlords in 2017/18 according to research by the Residential Landlords Association.Nearly a fifth of councils didn’t even issue any Improvement Notices which order a landlord to carry out certain repairs or improvements to a property.Following the introduction in April 2017 of new powers for councils to issue civil penalties against landlords failing to provide acceptable housing, in 2017/18 89 per cent of local authorities did not use these new powers. Half reported that they did not have a policy in place to use them.Analysis of the results from 290 local authorities replying to Freedom of Information requests from the RLA’s research exchange, PEARL, showed that that there was no clear link between a council operating a licensing scheme for landlords and levels of enforcement.As MPs today prepare to debate the private rented sector, the RLA is arguing that the results show that tenants and good landlords are being failed by a system unable to root out criminal landlords.The RLA is calling for a renewed focus on enforcing the powers already available to councils. This includes sustainable funding for enforcement departments, using council tax returns to help identify landlords and councils doing more to find and take action against criminal landlords.David Smith, Policy Director for the RLA said:“These results show that for all the publicity around bad landlords, a large part of the fault lies with councils who are failing to use the wide range of powers they already have. Too many local authorities fall back on licensing schemes which, as this report proves, actually achieve very little except to add to the costs of the responsible landlords who register.“Instead of policing licensing schemes, councils need to focus on finding and taking action criminal landlords.”Property Tribes was also able to record this video to supplement this press announcement:
SEE ALSO - RLA 20th anniversary Parliamentary eventUP NEXT - RLA research by PEARL - a year in reviewDON'T MISS - PRS panel debate - Olympia de-briefNOW WATCH:
Vanessa Warwick Landlord and Co-Founder of PropertyTribes.com **If you have got value from Property Tribes, find out how you can support it in remaining a free to use community resource**
Really good work here,
i could see his frustrations in the video
Thank you for that, a real eye opener.
Probably the most disgraceful finding is that whilst landlords have paid literally millions to councils in licensing fees, patently very little of it is being used to seek and prosecute non compliant landlords. Councils pocket the money, obviously use it for some other purpose, and then loudly complain about unfit homes in the PRS.
MPs have called on the government to confiscate properties from the country’s worst landlords after a series of revelations about tenants being exploited by rogue sections of the private rented housing sector.
The calls followed a hard-hitting select committee report in April, as well as a joint Guardian and ITV News investigation which last month revealed that convicted landlords ruled unfit to rent out their properties were continuing to operate by exploiting a gap in the law.
During a debate on the committee’s recommendations on Thursday, MPs from across the Commons urged the housing minister Heather Wheeler to introduce new powers to seize properties of the worst landlords.Full/source article
Great videos from David
What part of "use the legislation and powers you already have before calling for new ones" is so hard to understand?
A common excuse from my local council for not taking action for buildings with abysmal common areas or exteriors is that where flats in a building are leasehold they cannot hold the leaseholders responsible for exterior/common areas and that contacting freeholders is often very difficult, in addition where a managing agent looks after common areas usually they will not make improvements without freeholders authority and again they’ll claim they cannot contact freeholder.
Its been suggested to me that even leaseholders have a responsibility for safe access to their flat through a common area, does anyone know if this is correct?
either way it seems that there is a gap in legislation which is easily exploited by those wishing to do so.
``Its been suggested to me that even leaseholders have a responsibility for safe access to their flat through a common area, does anyone know if this is correct?``
Yes there is . For instance if there was a wardrobe / washing machine / cycle etc stored in a common area it could impede the fire service accessing the flats with all their hoses and equipment in the event of a fire
Jonathan Clarke. http://www.buytoletmk.com
Like David I have been having reasoned arguments with councils for 35 years on a variety of subjects
Some would say I attack them, some would say I am just being assertive
It may be a fine line between the two .
Three latest examples. ( I could list 100 )
1) 10 days on they havent paid me £2,300 that they said they would pay me within 3- 5 days. As a result a homeless person wont get housed
2) They have just built a retaining party wall adjoining my garden saying they would consult with me first and address my clear concerns but they didnt consult me they just did it one day without telling me . I wouldnt dream of doing the same to them
3)1 mth ago i reported a failing heating system in a communal block and they have still yet to fix it . I would fix that within 48hrs max
Their level of incompetency is the standard - not the exception
I`m sure individually they are very nice people and mean no harm
And I dont believe they target me as a LL, its just their level of incompetency that may feel as if they do
I will always have a dialogue with them but sometimes legal direct action is more effective
So I support David in his endeavours using reasoned arguments within the higher echelons of the council to bring about change slow time
But I would equally likewise support a co ordinated sit in in the council`s foyer by 100`s of homeless people who have been stuck in B&B`s for over the legal 6 week limit . The council routinely breaks this law day in day out . That action would bring press attention and swifter action sometimes I believe than just dialogue and expose the incompetencies and hypocrisy of local government who try to enforce laws on LL`s while consistently breaking laws themselves
The world needs all types of action to bring about change
A local authority in the Midlands has admitted what many people have believed for some time - despite a slew of rules governing the private rental sector, it doesn’t have enough officers to police the lettings industry.
Media reports in the Midlands say that Walsall council’s economy and environment overview and scrutiny committee discussed the absence of officers at a meeting debating selective licensing in the area.
An officer told the committee that while policies existed, they could not be put into effect properly because of low staff numbers.
The officer said there were some 15,000 private rental properties in Walsall but only two qualified members of staff to cover them and that no private landlords had been prosecuted within the past 5 years.Full/source article
What a complete farce!