‘Rogue’ landlords could face fines up to £30,000

Boston Borough Council offices on West Street, Boston EMN-171025-171329001 EMN-171025-171329001
Boston Borough Council offices on West Street, Boston EMN-171025-171329001 EMN-171025-171329001

Rogue landlords, including owners of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) could face up to £30,000 of financial penalties if their properties are found to be unfit for purpose, if new policies being considered by Boston Borough Council are approved.

Councils have been given the powers to impose civil penalties for certain Housing Act offences, including failing to comply with an improvement notice, offences in relation to licensing of HMOs, failure to comply with management regulations for an HMO and contravention of an overcrowding notice.

Boston council has now drafted a civil penalties policy which it is consulting on.

It will see the authority implement the new powers and invites comments to assist in framing the local policy on when to prosecute through the courts, and when to issue its own penalty and the severity of the penalties.

Boston Borough Council’s portfolio holder for housing Coun Martin Griggs said: “This is further power which will allow the council to take swift action to tackle rogue landlords without the need to take them to court which can be time consuming and costly, although the council will still consider action through the courts in the most serious cases.

“Good landlords and letting agents have nothing to fear from these financial penalties. However, if they choose to ignore the council or commit housing offences in relation to the licensing, management or overcrowding of Houses in Multiple Occupation then they need to be aware that significant fines can be imposed.

“In addition, if they are repeat offenders they could be added to a national database of rogue landlords so that enforcement resources can be focused on any properties they own or manage elsewhere.”

Repeat offenders could end up on a national database of rogue landlords and property agents,

The council’s draft policy can be seen at http://bit.ly/2EOOO2L

Comments should be sent to housing.dept@boston.gov.uk by midnight on January 19, 2018.