On Tuesday 27 March Labour led MK Council agreed to implement a ‘get tough’ approach to rogue private landlords and agents, including the use of banning orders and fines of up to £30,000 for any landlords who breach a banning order. This is likely to be a quicker and better route than the current court prosecutions approach.
Cabinet Member or Adult Social Care and Housing, Nigel Long said, “We have a problem with some private landlords in Milton Keynes. I believe that the Council should use new measures available under the law to tackle these rogue landlords. They own some of worst maintained homes in Milton Keynes and are a major cause of homelessness locally.”
The Council will take action where landlords:
· Operate HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupation) badly
· Fail to comply with Improvement notices,
· Have overcrowded property
· Seek to dispose of property prohibited for sale.
Using new banning orders, backed up by fines will be quicker than the current court based prosecution and hit the rogue landlord hard in the pocket.
The Housing and Planning Act 2016 allows Milton Keynes Housing service to take action using new measures. These include:
· Banning Orders which the Council can seek to impose on the most unscrupulous landlords. These prevent a particular landlord/letting agent from continuing to operate where they have committed certain housing offences.
· Further, the making of a banning order will provide grounds for the making of a management order under s.101 of the Housing Act 2004, permitting local authorities to take over the management and letting of the property in question and to keep the receipts of rent generated by lettings.
· Once implemented the breach of a banning order can lead to fines of up to £30,000
Cllr Long concluded, “We are committed to using the new powers of banning orders and fines to tackle rouge landlords and letting agents. We want to work with good private landlords but are committed to dealing with the bad ones who have no place in our new city.”