Cambridge city council could slap landlords with fines of up to £30,000 for substandard housing
Council given new powers to crackdown on rogue landlords
Private landlords who breach legislation and provide substandard accommodation for tenants could face fines of up to £30,000.
Following changes to the law, Cambridge City Council will be given new powers to impose financial penalties against rogue landlords, as opposed to prosecuting them when they suspect an offence has been committed.
‘Crimes’ that could lead to these punishments being enforced include: failure to comply with an improvement notice issued by the council; failure to license houses in multiple occupation (HMO) or failing to comply with licence conditions; contravening an overcrowding notice issued by the council when more individuals than the permitted number are occupying a habitable room or rooms within an HMO; and not complying with management regulations.
Financial penalties will be calculated on a case by case basis by the council using its own matrix system to rate the severity of the offences committed by the landlord.
Anton Frost, head of lettings at Carter Jonas, Cambridge, told the Cambridge Independent: “I think it’s great that the council are taking a high level of interest in ensuring that the majority of houses that are under what we would expect to see as a habitable home look to be improved.”
He continued: “I don’t think this [landlords not following the rules] is a huge problem in Cambridge. However, I think the problem lies with the independent landlords.
“Speaking on behalf of a national agency, I don’t feel that we engage heavily with the HMO-licenced properties. However, there are a number of different agents in Cambridge that have to comply to the regulations and licencing conditions, and I would be very surprised if they aren’t doing that.”
Anton concluded: “I think the majority [of landlords] comply with all of the regulations around EPCs, gas safety certificates and carbon monoxide detectors, of course. They are the basis of any let now.”