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Morning Briefing: fine rogue landlords at least £30,000, say councils

Calls for harsher penalties for rogue landlords, and the rest of the morning’s housing news

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Should there be harsher penalties for rogue landlords? The LGA thinks so. Read our Morning Briefing to find out more #ukhousing

In the news

Rogue landlords in the private rented sector should face minimum fines of £30,000, the Local Government Association (LGA) has said.

It points to the latest figures from the English Housing Survey, which show that more than a quarter (27%) of privately rented homes failed to meet the Decent Homes Standard in 2016, and 8% of properties also had some type of damp problem.

“A key deterrent to rogue landlords would be for the government to set common sentencing guidelines which delivers consistency across the courts. It is not right that the level of civil penalty could outweigh that which is handed out by magistrates,” said Martin Tett, housing spokesperson for the LGA.

It comes as Newham Council – the first to introduce borough-wide licensing – announced it had won an appeal to enforce a £22,500 fine against a landlord, believed to be one of the largest fines ever imposed by the courts.

The fine was handed to property company Your Rooms London after 14 people, including babies and children, were found renting a damp and dangerous two-storey terrace in Stratford last July.

Newham said there was “a complete absence of fire safety equipment and a failure to provide a gas safety certificate”.

It said: “The general conditions in the property were described as filthy and damp, and at least one tenant was suffering ill health as a direct result.”

The house was split into five bedrooms – with each let at around £500 per month – or £2,500 a month for the property.

Also in the news this morning, read Inside Housing’s investigation into leaked meeting notes from insulation giant Kingspan.

On social media

MP Karen Buck reacts to our report of claims that fire safety reports may have been “doctored”:

And CIH Futures is asking people how they got into housing:

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