Landlords in Brighton and Hove face a £500 charge if they are handed an improvement notice, as part of a council crackdown on failing properties.
The new charge will be introduced from 2nd January with the aim of covering its costs for taking enforcement action if landlords don’t engage.
This will be on a case-by-case basis, depending on staff time involved and expenses incurred, but the council estimates it will be around £500.
If a landlord does not comply with the notice, the council will still consider prosecution or a financial penalty, and if the charge is not paid it will be placed as a local land charge to be recovered when the property is sold or until the invoice is paid.
Councillor Gill Williams (pictured), chair of Brighton & Hove’s housing and new homes committee, says it’s committed to taking a stronger approach to landlords who don’t look after their properties or respect their tenants’ rights to enjoy their home.
“We know there are a lot of responsible landlords, but we also hear time and again from residents about other landlords who fail to maintain their properties,” adds Williams.
“Under the Deregulation Act 2015, improvement notices can protect tenants from revenge evictions when they’ve complained about the condition of a property. We are introducing charges to cover the costs incurred by the council of enforcing improvements in this way.”
Councils have the option to charge for improvement and other notices under Section 49 of the Housing Act 2004, and Portsmouth is one of those with a similar approach.
Brighton & Hove is currently consulting on proposals for a new additional licensing scheme and selective licensing scheme for all private rented homes in certain areas, until 3rd January.