A range of new powers under Housing and Planning Act 2016
Changes for landlords, property managers and letting agents. The Housing and Planning Act 2016 has made a number of changes to the licensing and regulation of rented properties in the private rented sector.
Civil penalties (financial penalty)
New laws have been introduced in April 2017 to give councils additional powers to deal with rogue landlords and agents under the Housing and Planning Act 2016. The new powers allow local authorities to issue a financial penalty notice to any landlords or agents who do not comply with the Housing Act 2004.
For the first time, English local authorities will be able to impose a financial penalty of up to £30,000 for a range of housing offences, including:
- failure to comply with a housing improvement or overcrowding notice
- failure to have the correct licence for a property that needs licensing
- failure to comply with the House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) management regulations.
Previously councils only could prosecute for the above non-compliant activities but with introducing the financial penalty, the council have additional powers to pursue any non-compliance through two routes of either prosecution, or financial penalty.
Rogue landlord databases
Under the Housing and Planning Act 2016, a local housing authority must make an entry on the database where a landlord or property agent has received a banning order. They have the discretion to make entries where a landlord or property agent has been convicted of a banning order offence or has received 2 or more civil penalties within a 12 month period.
The database of rogue landlords and property agents came into force on 6 April 2018.
Visit central government's website for more on the rogue landlord and property agents register.
Greater Local Authority rogue landlord and agent checker
In addition, the Greater Local Authority (GLA) has implemented a rogue landlord and agent checker which is designed for London local authorities to input and share any information of enforcement/legal proceedings on any landlords.
Additional records of rogue landlords and agents are also recorded via the GLA and further information can be found on the GLA website.
Banning orders for landlords and property agents under the Housing and Planning Act 2016.
The Housing and Planning Act 2016 provides new powers which permit local housing authorities to seek banning orders where landlords or property agents have been convicted of a banning order offence.
For further information please visit the landlords and banning orders for landlords sites.
Rent Repayment Orders
The Housing and Planning Act 2016 extended rent repayment orders to cover illegal eviction, breach of a banning order and certain other specified offences.
RROs were only previously available in respect of licensable but unlicensed properties and tenants were unable to lodge a claim unless the local authority had first prosecuted the landlord.
RRO applications can be made for a much wider range of offences including:
- illegal eviction or harassment of occupiers
- using violence to secure entry and
- failure to comply with a housing improvement notice or prohibition order.
The Tower Hamlets Landlords and Agents Forum meets three times a year. It is an opportunity to meet with colleagues, competitors and council officers and to discuss issues that impact on your work as landlords, letting agents, and managing agents in Tower Hamlets. Meetings are a way to hear about and influence council policy and to learn about the latest changes in housing law.
If you would like to register on our invitation list, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We will announce 2019’s dates shortly.
The London Landlord Accreditation Scheme provides accreditation, training and on-going professional development to landlords and agents. With over 32000 members, LLAS is the biggest and most established scheme of its kind. LLAS provides a one-day basic training course, covering all aspects of tenancy and property management. LLAS also offers additional training opportunities specialising in particular areas of interest. Landlords and agents receive a Landlord Guide USB following their training. Training courses take place throughout London including on a regular basis in Tower Hamlets.
Tower Hamlets Private Renters’ Charter
The Tower Hamlets Private Renters' Charter sets out the standards the law demands from all private landlords and agents in accessible language. The council and every organisation signed up to the charter aims to support mainstream landlords and agents as well as tenants by making sure that every rented room, flat or house in Tower Hamlets meets these standards – and by driving out the criminals who won’t obey the law.
The Private Licence Agreement (PLA)
Private Licence Agreement (PLA), is whereby, Tower Hamlets Council signs a ‘Head Licence Agreement’ with private Landlords or Managing Agents to use residential properties on an ongoing basis. These properties are then let by the council to homeless families in need of temporary accommodation.
If your property meets our standards and you are accepted on our PLA scheme, the rent will be paid directly by the Council to the Landlord or the Managing Agent. The rent is guaranteed for the period the property is occupied.
The agreement can be terminated with 28 days’ notice from either party
What are the Benefits of the PLA Scheme?
- No management or hidden fees
- No marketing costs
- No introduction/admin fee for renting your property
- Able to claim for malicious damage caused by the tenants (T & Cs apply)
- Guaranteed rent paid directly by the Council
- Constant supply of tenants
- No long term contractual tie-in
- No risk of rent arrears, the council pays you even if the tenants doesn’t pay us
- No risk of housing benefit claw back
- Free Council backed legal action if any repossession action is required (T & Cs apply)
- Free tenancy support service and contract sign-up
- Minimal void periods
What rent will I receive for my property?
The rent your property attracts depends on the location and size of your property. Generally speaking, properties within Tower Hamlets and central London command higher rents compared to properties around the outer parts of London and surrounding areas.
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