The Isle of Wight Council is mulling proposals to crack down on rogue landlords and introduced much strong regulation of the private rented sector overall.
During a sometimes fractious meeting, councillor Richard Quigley highlighted the current housing emergency and asked whether it should investigate new measures including a private renters’ association and private renters’ charter, voluntary landlords’ register so private tenants can choose to rent from responsible landlords, and tougher enforcement against rogue landlords.
He also suggested using Section 106 powers to ensure all new builds are the buyer’s principal residence – rather than second or holiday homes – and a limit on the number of Airbnbs that offer an entire property for rent.
The crackdown comes despite the IoW council agreeing to bring in tough new civil penalties of up to £30,000 to use within its 17,000 household-strong rental sector just four weeks ago.
These will be applicable when landlords fail to comply with improvement notices, for offences in relation to HMO licensing and also contravening an overcrowding notice.
Deputy leader, councillor Ian Stephens (pictured), promised: “We are going to work together on [Councillor Quigley’s proposals] and I can definitely say that we’re taking all those elements forward in a positive way…which we will do because we want to build housing, we want to rent housing, we want to house our Island homeless.”
However, chairman of the council, councillor Geoff Brodie, said he had received a similar response to a question and added: “It doesn’t mean anything until you deliver, and I suggest you give a written reply to councillor Quigley and share it with the rest of the council.”
One unusual observation made during the meeting was that Secretary of State for housing Michael Gove has a relative living on the island, working and living there as a GP.