Honourable and personal residential letting experts

11May Greater powers to Councils to enforce letting standards

Greater powers to Councils to enforce letting standards

A source of irritation to those of us who strive to provide decent homes for our tenants is the poor standard homes some landlords provide, apparently without sanction. The Government are changing the rules so Councils can keep the fines they impose on landlords for poor standards.

 We think this will lead to a growing number of people in councils checking and enforcing the standards of rental properties. We have already seen more news stories of more landlords being fined more heavily. Happily the work we do with our landlords means they should not be the target of these fines!

Linked to this the Government have created a database of Rogue Letting Agents. Sadly this is not currently public so is likely to have limited impact. However they are also considering a database of Rogue Landlords, which will further drive up standards of rental properties by making it harder for disreputable landlords to operate and tarnish the reputations of the majority of landlords.

One of the challenges about improving rental property standards is it requires tenants to highlight a problem. In many of the worst properties the tenants are paying relatively low rent, or are not renting legally. Therefore they are less likely to complain about the condition of the property. The risk is the more diligent landlords are more easily identified and so may be subject to enforcement action. We believe a landlord should be secure if they have proper records of property maintenance work and any communications with tenants to prove their diligence. Where we manage the maintenance of any property we have this fully covered.