Criminal and rogue landlords are very unlikely to be fined over their activities with just 3,500 penalties issued by local authorities since 2018, it has been revealed.
This is despite ministerial claims that there are 10,500 such landlords in operation, says the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA).
“Our findings show that most councils are failing to use all the tools available to them to tackle rogue and criminal landlords,” says Chris Norris (pictured), Director of Policy and Campaigns at the NRLA.
“By failing to apply appropriate sanctions to punish wrongdoing, councils are weakening the principle of deterrence which underpins the civil penalties regime.
“We are calling on all councils to ensure they are making full and proper use of the powers they have to tackle those landlords who cause misery to tenants and bring the sector into disrepute.
“The Government’s plans to reform the private rented sector due later this year will mean nothing if changes are not properly enforced.”
The NRLA quizzed local authorities across the UK via multiple Freedom of Information requests and found that very few had issued civil penalties against errant landlords, which can reach £30,000 under current rules brought in three years ago.
It also found that over half of authorities had not issued any civil penalties since these regulations were introduced.
Of those that did, most had issued only a handful with 71 per cent of all civil penalties being generated by just seven per cent of local authorities. And 40 per cent of councils that had issued civil penalties issued between just one and five penalties.