Charities and internal investigations
Further to our previous blog on selective licensing, as predicted, prosecution of landlords are on the increase.
To recap, a number of local authorities have introduced selective licensing zones. If a private landlord has a property within one of these zones they are required to hold an appropriate licence. If a private landlord is found to be without a licence they may be prosecuted and prevented from renting out their property in the immediate future, which may have a devastating effect on their livelihood. Prosecutions can also be brought for breaches of an existing license.
Sections 79, 80 and 81 of the Housing Act 2004 (“the Act”) provided for the introduction of the selective licensing of private landlords. The underlying purpose of the legislation was to improve the private rental market. It is envisaged that selective licensing will enable local authorities to work in conjunction with private landlords to ensure that they develop a more professional private rented sector where conditions are upheld for the benefit of tenants.
The Act came into force in April 2006 and thereafter, on 27 March 2015, the Selective Licensing of Houses (Additional Conditions) (England) Order 2015 (SI 2015/977) came into force.
Recent prosecutions include:
Given the detrimental effect that a prosecution of this kind can have, private landlords need to ensure that they understand their obligations and adhere with them.
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