New powers for Councils to deal with Rogue Landlords

Filed in Landlords by on 21st June, 2017 3 Comments

 The Housing and Planning Act 2016 has given councils new powers to deal with rogue landlords. These include Rent Repayment Orders (RROs) and Civil Penalty Notices (CPNs). The government has defined a ‘rogue landlord’ as ‘a landlord who knowingly flouts their obligations by renting out unsafe and substandard accommodation to tenants’.

This survey is relevant to landlords and agents operating in Bristol, Bath, NE Somerset and South Glos. The survey is sponsored by Bristol City Council (BCC) and during today’s West of England Landlord Forum in which ALL Wessex regularly attends, B&NES and South Gloucestershire stated that they will be looking at the lead established by BCC to determine their own policies.

The Department for Communities and Local Government has issued statutory guidance that Councils must take into account before using these powers.  As a result, Councils are going to change the way they do some things in order to use these new powers as effectively as possible. Before these changes are made BCC are seeking views from all interested parties, including colleagues, partners, landlords, agents and tenants.

Please can you complete the survey here. The survey will remain open until midnight on 7th July.

A word of caution: the survey is important so please do complete it. It does however, take some time to read and complete, as such please choose a quiet moment and make yourself comfortable before you begin!

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About the Author ()

Rob Crawford is the chairman of the Association of Local Landlords (Wessex). Rob is a practicing landlord with a property portfolio that includes small private residential properties and HMO's. Rob is a qualified letting agent and former owner of Kingfisher Lettings & Management. He is now a share holder of the successful online lettings company Lettingsupermarket.com.

Comments (3)

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  1. Diane norris says:

    I have a dilemma, can you advise me?
    My property has an EPC of f, if the meter was changed to a duel Tariff meter, cause of storage heaters, it would improve, but the tenant does not want to change it.
    In 2018 I have to upgrade from f, but am stuck.

  2. Rob Crawford says:

    Hi Diane, firstly my apologies for not answering previously but as you may have noticed the website has been off line due to a server upgrade.
    You are of course correct that EPC’s must not be below E after 18th April. A meter change maybe a step to far for your tenants to understand so my first thoughts are, is there any other way the EPC can be improved, i.e. energy saving lights or added insulation in the loft? Assuming these are not an option then you need to write a formal letter to the tenants that explains to them that the EPC must be improved by 18th April 2018 and present them with the options and also the advantages (potential electric/gas savings) all at no cost to them. If they do not accept this then repeat and send another letter. When you conduct inspections it would be worth you checking the existing meter to ensure it has not been tampered with. Provide them an with an inspection report that reflect the condition of the property (based on your inspection) and include a notice advising the tenants that you need to improve the EPC. Get them to sign the inspection report. You now have a historic record of trying to get access to the house to make the changes required to reduce the EPC. If this is not successful I would plan the improvements to be done when they eventually leave the property (but make sure the EPC is improved before any advertising. You can only do so much before you risk allegations of harassment etc and you will by now have the proof that you have tried. I am assuming you have good rent paying tenants and the property is being looked after. Hope this helps.

  3. Rob Crawford says:

    Hi Diane, I have done some more research into your situation regard the new EPC requirements. The following from RICS reflects the requirements: “The regulations will come into force for new lets and renewals of tenancies with effect from 1st April 2018 and for all existing tenancies on 1st April 2020. It will be unlawful to rent a property which breaches the requirement for a minimum E rating, unless there is an applicable exemption.” So as you have an existing let you have until 1st April 2020.

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