9 MAR 2019
North Somerset council is cracking down on rogue landlords

Landlords are being warned they face financial penalties of up to £30,000 if they fail to keep their rented properties in good condition.

North Somerset Council bosses have issued the warning as the authority steps up its efforts to tackle poor rented accommodation in the area.

Officers from the private rented sector housing team will be carrying out targeted inspections of properties across the resort in the coming weeks.

And where hazards or risk are identified the authority will use its statutory powers to rectify the problems.

Those who fail to comply with any enforcement action could risk a financial penalty of up to £30,000.

The authority was awarded funding earlier this year from the Government’s Rogue Landlord fund to support its work to improve standards in the private rented sector.

As part of the council’s ‘tackling rogue landlords’ campaign, landlords are being urged to become accredited with the National Landlord’s Code of Excellence (NLCE).

Accreditation to the scheme helps make sure landlords are providing quality and safe properties for their tenants.

A number of roadshow events will also be taking place next week across Weston to give landlords and tenants the chance to find out more about their roles and responsibilities, as well as where to go for support and advice.

North Somerset Council executive member for housing Councillor Elfan Ap Rees said: “Many landlords provide quality rental accommodation but there are some who do little to maintain their properties.

“No one should have to pay to live in a property that is unsafe or in a state of disrepair.

“Our message for landlords is very clear – make sure the accommodation you provide is good quality and join an accreditation scheme like the NLCE.

“Accreditation means landlords are meeting the legal obligations of providing good standard, safe rental accommodation to tenants.

“Poor quality housing not only impacts on the health and wellbeing of tenants, it affects the wider community as well, and we are committed to improving the standard of accommodation in the private rented sector.”

Tenants are also being encouraged to help improve housing standards in the private rented sector by reporting rogue landlords online.

A new reporting form is available on the council’s website at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/roguelandlord which anyone can use to report concerns about the behaviour of a landlord or letting agent, or about a rented property.

Other concerns that can be reported include overcrowding, anti social behaviour or illegal activities at a privately rented property.

People can also report issues about poor letting practices such as no tenancy paperwork or poor responses to repair requests.

Reports can also be made about unlicensed houses of multiple occupation or HMO’s.

Sam Jackson, Director of the NLCE, said: “Training and education are the cornerstone of any profession, being a landlord is a profession and not a hobby. With over 150 new laws and 400 pieces of regulation in the last 10 years, even the most experienced landlords have something to learn.

Tenants living in mouldy or damp homes will soon be able to take their landlords to court

“Rent repayment orders, fines and even prison sentence can await the landlord not willing to up their game.”

More information about landlord accreditation is available at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/landlordaccreditation.

Anyone can report concerns about a rogue landlord, letting agent or a rented property at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/roguelandlord.