Two private landlords in Burnley have been fined a total of more than £27,000 under enforcement powers introduced in the borough to help tackle “rogue” property owners and improve conditions for renters.
National Government legislation, which includes the use of civil penalty notices of up to £30,000 as an alternative to prosecution for first time offences, became council policy last year.
A report to the next meeting of the full council says the authority’s housing team has served three notices to landlords for failing to licence their properties under the selective licensing scheme. The penalties incurred were £12,500 for one landlord and two penalties of £7,500 for another landlord.
The notices relate to three properties in the Trinity and Queensgate selective licensing areas. The landlords have the right of appeal to a tribunal.
Councillor John Harbour, the executive member for housing and environment, said: “The council is always willing to work with private landlords and support them in providing good quality and well managed properties for residents, and I’m pleased to say the majority of private landlords in our borough are professional and follow the rules.
“However there are a number of landlords who don’t follow the rules and don’t look after their tenants properly. The use of these powers support the ongoing work that the council carries out to tackle these so-called rogue landlords and sends out a strong message.”
The national legislation introduced civil penalties of up to £30,000 as an alternative to prosecution for certain offences, including failure to comply with an improvement notice, offences of contravention of an overcrowding notice, and offences in relation to licensing of properties.
Although £30,000 is the maximum penalty, the actual amount levied should reflect the severity of the offence and the landlord’s previous record of offending.