Over the last few years, various local authorities have increased their enforcement of the letting rules and regulations, clamping down on landlords who violate them.
Newham Borough Council has invested a lot of time and money in such activity which they have paid for through a mixture of grant and council funding and, since 2013. Although they give landlords an opportunity to put right what they find isn’t legal, they have now carried out 1,300 prosecutions and simple cautions, estimating that 5% of all known Newham landlords have been caught to date. In addition, they have made 663 arrests and uncovered nearly £2 million of unpaid council tax from properties let as Houses in Multiple Occupation.
Oxford City Council regularly publish fines for landlords, listing the reasons they have been charged. One of the last cases in 2016 was a landlord who racked up over £11,000 in fines and court costs for failing to licence their HMOs, not having the right level of fire safety and demonstrating a poor level of maintenance.
And the enforcement of penalties is about to get a lot more expensive for landlords breaking the law, because from April 2017, new legislation will allow councils to apply fines of up to £30,000 if they find your property isn’t being let safely and legally to tenants. They will also be able to ban some landlords from letting for 12 months and share these details with other councils across the country.
Given that all landlords can expect to come under a lot more scrutiny in the future, if you haven’t already had your property thoroughly checked out by one of our lettings experts, it’s certainly worth doing – and a very good reason for choosing to let through Reeds Rains.
If your property is fully managed by us, then we will have already carried out checks to make sure that neither you nor your property are vulnerable to these kinds of fines and will continue to check your property is legally and safely let during our periodic checks.
We’re able to do this because of the huge amount of time and money we as an organisation invest into understanding the 160 legal rules that apply to letting a property. And because we belong to organisations such as the Association of Residential Letting Agents, we’re able to constantly advise of changes or upgrades you need to make to ensure your property continues to meet tenants’ needs and wants, so you avoid the trap of lengthy voids.