Please Note: This Article is 4 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.

On the third reading of the Housing and Planning Bill Tuesday, MPs voted 309 to 216 in favour of giving local authorities the power to ban industry rogues in a law which is likely to be in operation by the summer.

The move will be welcome news to the vast majority of responsible landords who have been victims in running media battles against landlords, especially in the run-up to the May 2015 election when an intense anti-landlord media campaign ensued.

Those landlords and agents who repeatedly flout the law will be subject to banning orders which should be a far quicker and more effective process for local authority inspectors to manage than the present system of repeatedly dragging offenders through the slow and often ineffective local justice system of the county courts.

Offenders will also be subject to fines of up to £30,000 when they knowingly let-out dirty, unsuitable accommodation for residents and unsafe homes. The legislation will focus on those who let property which fails to meet safety standards on things like overcrowding, and properties with Category 1 & 2 safety hazards, poor sanitation, electrical faults, and with damp and vermin infestations.

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A database will be set-up to which local Councils will have access, recording those landlords and agents identified as rogue operators and repeat offenders.

Two amendments or suggested amendments to the legislation were defeated: (1) a move by Labour to implement a national inspection regime which would check rental properties as being “safe for habitation” before they could be let, and (2) an amendment by Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, calling for the establishment of a “Living Rent Commission”.

Both these suggestions were rejected after it was argued they would add an unnecessary level of regulation and expense.

Please Note: This Article is 4 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.

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