National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA)
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Report reveals councils' shocking failure to tackle rogue landlords

New data gathered by the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) shows that less than half the fines levied against rogue landlords have been collected by local authorities.

According to FOI data obtained by the NRLA, between 2021 and 2023 £13 million worth of civil penalties were issued by councils. However, just £6 million has so far been collected.

Local authorities can issue civil penalties of up to £30,000 for a range of offences committed by rogue landlords. These can be used to fund further enforcement activity.

The data also reveals how almost half of local authorities (49 per cent) have not issued any civil penalties between 2021 and 2023, whilst 69 per cent had issued just five or fewer.

The figures come as the Renters (Reform) Bill, currently going through Parliament, extends the range of offences that councils can issue civil penalties for, raising the question of how able they will be to use these newly acquired powers when almost half are not using the very considerable powers they already have.

The NRLA is calling for the creation of a new national Chief Environmental Health Officer to lead the charge for improved enforcement against rogue and criminal landlords. The Government should also establish a recruitment and training fund to boost capacity in council enforcement teams, and better support the sharing of best practice between councils.

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said: 

“Rogue and criminal landlords cause misery for their tenants and undermine the reputation of the responsible majority.  Tackling them should be a high priority for councils. 

“At a time of tight budgets, it is strange that councils are failing to collect the fines levied on those landlords failing to do the right thing. It makes a mockery of the deterrent such fines should be. It will also come as a bitter blow to the many responsible landlords who comply with, and exceed their responsibilities - but are subject to licensing regimes and associated fees all the same.

“It is vital that the Government and councils work together to boost the capacity of enforcement teams to make better use of the existing powers they have to tackle poor quality housing. Without this, additional protections for tenants in the Renters (Reform) Bill run the risk of being meaningless.”  

Notes:

•    The NRLA’s full report on enforcement can be accessed here.

•    Further information about the NRLA can be found at www.nrla.org.uk.  It posts on X @NRLAssociation.

•    The NRLA’s press office can be contacted by emailing press@nrla.org.uk or by calling 0300 131 6363.

Channel website: https://www.nrla.org.uk?ref=wg

Original article link: https://www.nrla.org.uk/news/new-report-reveals-councils-shocking-failure-to-tackle-rogue-landlords

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