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Councils failing to enforce fines against rogue landlords

Less than half the fines levied against rogue landlords have actually been collected by local authorities, a report from the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has revealed.

Between 2021 and 2023 £13 million worth of civil penalties were issued by councils. However, just £6 million has so far been collected, FOI data shows.

In the wake of the findings the NRLA called for the creation of a new national chief environmental health officer to lead the charge for improved enforcement against rogue and criminal landlords.

It added that government should also establish a recruitment and training fund to boost capacity in council enforcement teams, and better support the sharing of best practice between councils.

Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said: “Rogue and criminal landlords cause misery for their tenants and undermine the reputation of the responsible majority. Tackling them should be a high priority for councils.

“At a time of tight budgets, it is strange that councils are failing to collect the fines levied on those landlords failing to do the right thing. It makes a mockery of the deterrent such fines should be. It will also come as a bitter blow to the many responsible landlords who comply with, and exceed, their responsibilities – but are subject to licencing regimes and associated fees all the same.

“It is vital that the government and councils work together to boost the capacity of enforcement teams to make better use of the existing powers they have to tackle poor quality housing. Without this, additional protections for tenants in the Renters (Reform) Bill run the risk of being meaningless.”