Clause 27 - Offences

Part of Renters (Reform) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:00 am on 28 November 2023.

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Photo of Jacob Young Jacob Young Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities) 10:00, 28 November 2023

The purpose of rent repayment orders is to provide an effective means through which tenants can hold criminal landlords to account and receive due remedy. Extending rent repayment orders to cover non-criminal civil breaches would mean landlords could be ordered to pay up to two years’ worth of rent for a relatively minor non-compliance. We think that this would be disproportionate. We think that scarce court time should be focused on dealing with serious offences rather than more minor breaches. For first and minor non-compliance, with provisions in the Bill there will be several means of redress and enforcement, including the ombudsman and civil penalties of up to £5,000, but I am happy to continue this conversation with the hon. Member for Greenwich and Woolwich further.