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Minister announces tougher measures to target landlords

HOUSING: London, UK

NEW RULES in force from today (April 6) will help crackdown on rogue landlords that flout the rules and improve safety and affordability for renters.

Announcing the measures, Housing Minister Gavin Barwell confirmed the powers will give local authorities the tools to crack down on rogue landlords who shirk their responsibilities. This comes as part of the Government’s plan set out in its Housing White Paper to create a bigger and better private rental sector that meets the needs of tenants and landlords alike, giving those who rent a fairer deal.

Councils are now able to impose fines of up to £30,000 as an alternative to prosecution for a range of housing offences. They will be able to retain all of the income to make sure it is used for private sector housing enforcement purposes.

Rent Repayment Orders, which can be issued to penalise landlords managing or letting unlicensed properties, have also been extended to cover a wider range of situations. These include the illegal evictions or harassment of the occupiers of a property, using violence to secure entry and the breach of a banning order.

Housing and Planning Minister Gavin Barwell said: "These measures will give councils the additional powers they need to tackle poor-quality rental homes in their area.

"By driving out of business those rogue landlords that continue to flout the rules, we can raise standards, improve affordability and give tenants the protections they need."

Further new measures introduced today include giving councils access to Tenancy Deposit Protection Data that help them identify rental properties in their area, and tackle the small minority of rogue landlords through targeted enforcement and prevention work.

Letting Agents’ fees will also be banned to give renters greater clarity and control over what they will pay.

The recently published Housing White Paper set out measures to build the homes Britain needs now and to give those that rent a fairer deal, putting tackling the high cost of renting at the heart of its plan to fix the broken housing market.

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