Yesterday, the Mayor of Devon town Torbay approved a £100,000 pot for a clampdown on bad landlords. The council are targeting landlords at the lower end of the property market, and who house tenants in squalid conditions for low rent. Both social landlords and private landlords are said to be under the microscope and the council will be working with the health service, the police and the housing benefits office to bring bad landlords to justice.
A Few Amongst Many
The mayor was quick to point out that bad landlords are just a few amongst a very large group, but in a popular tourist area it is important to keep poor living conditions and the threat of anti-social behaviour to a minimum. Though this inquiry isn’t going to effect anyone outside of the Torbay area, it does show that local government is prepared to put its money where its mouth is when it comes to bad landlords.
The difficulties will come for landlords who are not meeting basic health and safety requirements. The proper licensing, a clean and liveable property and a clear, legal structure surrounding a let are all considered a minimum requirement for landlords,. There may also be difficulties for those operating without a landlord insurance policy.
Taking Action Against Bad Landlords
If caught failing to comply to regulations, bad landlords will be levied fines and possibly deemed unfit to let property. It’s likely that the operation could pay for itself if large numbers of landlords are caught. Generally, though, this sort of news should be sending out a very clear message to landlords who are a little unsure if they are letting legally.
Though this sort of news is localised and not directly applicable to landlords across the UK, it is definitely symbolic of the atmosphere between landlords and the government at present. Bad landlords are unlikely to be tolerated for much longer, so make sure you have all your administration in place: the penalties for non-compliance could be considerable.