West Suffolk council have started the new year with a new initiative, a way to clamp down on rogue landlords.
Whilst the council are quick to maintain that they recognise that the majority of landlords in the area provide a great service, following a meeting between the joint cabinet of Forest Heat and St Edmundsbury last week, there are plans afoot to tackle the less squeaky clean landlords, deterring them from operating in the area.
The council want to deter rogue landlords, who have previously left tenants to live in terrible conditions, from operating in West Suffolk, and have agreed to begin consultation and engagement on new enforcement routes, that will give council officers the ability to fine individuals, issue rent repayment orders, and even issue banning orders as alternatives to prosecution.
West Suffolk landlords are in the main excellent, providing decent, well maintained homes and we are keen to work with and support them,” said Cllr Sara Mildmay-White, lead member for housing for both Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury. There are a small minority of irresponsible rogue landlords who knowingly rent out accommodation that is unlicensed, substandard and/or unsafe and for whom the current sanctions are not a sufficient deterrent.” We are developing this policy with local landlords, tenants and interest groups including neighbouring councils and the Landlords Association. It is important that we understand the issues and raise awareness of the role of the Public Health and Housing Service.The councils work closely with partner services and organisations to support the needs of the vulnerable people in their homes, and to protect the wider community and there will be consultation direct with key groups on a proportionate fine structure dependent on the severity of non-compliance with the offences.Cllr Sara Mildmay-White, lead member for housing for both Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury
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