Landlords who knowingly let out substandard accommodation can face new Civil Penalty notices of up to £30,000.
Nottingham City Council say the new penalties will make it easier to tackle poor housing conditions found in privately rented properties across the city.
Changes to the Housing and Planning Act 2016 means the City Council are now able to issue these new fines which will take away ill-gotten revenues by landlords and housing agents.
The Civil Penalties do not need a court hearing and will be used as an alternative to prosecution for a range of housing offences, such as:
- Failure to comply with a housing improvement or overcrowding notice
- Not having the right licence for a property
- Not complying with a licensing condition
- Failing to comply with the House in Multiple Occupation regulations or contravention of an overcrowding notice
The City Council and housing tenants are now also able to apply for a Rent Repayment Order (RRO) to reclaim up to 12 months of rent under another new housing law change.
RRO applications can be made for issues including:
- Landlords illegally evicting or harassing people living in the property
- Landlords using violence to secure entry
- Failure to comply with a housing improvement notice or prohibition order
RROs were only previously an option when landlords were prosecuted for failing to licence a property which requiring a licence.
New laws also mean councils can aid tenants who are applying for a RRO.
Councillor Toby Neal, the City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community and Customer Services, said:
The new powers are introduced as the Council seek the go-ahead from the Government to introduce a new licensing scheme aimed at improving housing standards in the private sector.
The new legalisation and Civil Penalties are both now in use.