Rogue landlords 'must face bigger fines'

Town hall chiefs are urging magistrates to use new powers to impose bigger penalties on criminal landlords, who they say treat the present "feeble" fines levied against them as 'operating costs'.

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'We're determined to tackle rogue landlords'

Housing Minister Kris Hopkins said:

We are determined to tackle the minority of landlords who offer tenants a poor service.

That's why we have given £6.7 million to councils to use their range of powers to confront rogue behaviour, and why we're changing the law to increase fines.

Our new How to Rent Guide makes tenants aware of their rental rights and puts pressure on those who are not playing by the rules.

Rogue landlords 'exploiting current prosecution system'

The Local Government Association has called for a "new streamlined system" to deal with rogue landlords who they say are not being deterred by current measures.

Mike Jones, who chairs the Local Government Association's environment and housing board, said:

The current system for prosecuting rogue landlords is not fit for the 21st century.

Criminal landlords are exploiting this and endangering tenants' lives. They are treating the paltry fines as 'operating costs', which they are offsetting against the vast profits they are raking in.

We need a system which protects the good landlords, whose reputation is being dragged down by the bad ones.

...Councils are doing everything they can to tackle the rising levels of rogue landlords caused by the housing crisis. However, they are being hamstrung by a system racked by delays, bureaucracy and feeble fines.

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Call for clampdown on rogue landlords

Magistrates are being urged to significantly increase the fines imposed on rogue landlords in the wake of new legislation.

Town hall chiefs have urged magistrates to use new powers to impose much bigger fines on rogue landlords. Credit: PA

Town hall chiefs said that criminal landlords who house people in "hell hole conditions" are not being deterred by the present "feeble fines."

Efforts to prosecute individuals who housed tenants in dangerous properties were being hampered by an overly-complicated legal process often left local taxpayers out of pocket, the Local Government Association warned.

The Government announced this week that it is legislating for a fourfold increase in the maximum fines available to magistrates - and to allow them in future to impose unlimited fines in cases, such as many landlord offences, where the previous maximum was £5,000.

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