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To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what steps the Government is taking to strengthen local authority powers to deal with rogue landlords.
The Government is committed to providing a strong professional private rented sector with decent standards and good service. An existing framework provides local authorities with strong powers to require that landlords make necessary improvements to a property. Through the Housing and Planning Act 2016 the Government introduced a range of new measures to crack down further on rogue landlords. Local authorities can now impose civil penalties of up to £30,000 as an alternative to prosecution and we have extended rent repayment orders to allow tenants and local authorities to reclaim rent paid for a wider range of housing offences. They can access information held by tenancy deposit schemes to help identify privately rented housing and to further crack down on rogue landlords in their area through targeted enforcement and prevention work. Other measures include:
The Government has also:
We have consulted on extending mandatory licensing of HMOs and are currently consulting of banning letting agent fees for tenants.
In addition the Government made £12 million available to a range of local authorities with acute problems with rogue landlords, resulting in the inspection of over 70,000 properties and more than 5,000 landlords facing further action or prosecution for breaking the law.