On the 6th of November, Housing Minister Brandon Lewis announced new proposals that will help tackle rogue landlords that trap and cram vulnerable tenants in unsafe, overcrowded properties.
The new discussion paper will aim to improve the standard of shared homes throughout England, by extending mandatory licensing to smaller and medium sized houses. If a landlord were to fail to obtain a licence they would be liable to pay a fine, which potentially could be unlimited.
There are three main ways in which the new proposals will help to improve the standards of shared houses, these include:
- Making the rules mandatory for more shared homes, including those that are only 1 or 2 storey. Currently the rules only apply to homes 3 storeys high.
- Ensuring that the rules are also applied to poorly converted blocks of flats and flats located above or below shops, which are very often exempt.
- Setting a minimum size for rooms that is in line with current existing overcrowding standards.
Brandon Lewis says:
“It is simply unacceptable that people are living in cramped, unsafe accommodation provided by landlords who are more interested in a quick profit than the safety or welfare of their tenants… The actions of these rogue landlords are helping fuel illegal working, benefit fraud, and illegal immigration by creating a shadow housing market that carries dangers to people’s health as well as communities.”
These are just the latest recent proposals made by the government in a bid to crack down on the number of rogue landlords in the country. Last month we touched upon the new Housing Bill and this is also set to help.
Measures within the Housing Bill include the creation of a database of rogue landlords, seeking banning orders for serial offenders and issuing civil penalty notices of up to £5,000 to name just a few.
Brandon Lewis says:
“The government is determined to crack down on rogue landlords and these measures, alongside those in the Housing Bill, will further strengthen councils’ powers to tackle poor-quality privately rented homes in their area”
BT www.propertysurveying.co.uk 11/11/15