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New Powers Protect Tenants Against Rogue Landlords

Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council is to introduce new penalties to protect tenants against rogue landlords.

New legislation gives councils the ability to impose civil penalties of up to £30,000 on landlords who fail to comply with legal notices and orders.

Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council has moved swiftly to be amongst the first housing authorities in Staffordshire to adopt the new civil penalties regime under the Housing and Planning Act 2016.

The new rules also allow either tenants or the housing authority to apply to a housing tribunal for a Rent Repayment Order. If successful, landlords can be ordered to pay back up to 12 months’ rent where tenants have suffered continued poor conditions or their rights have been breached.

The Borough has a strong private rented sector which caters for around 10 per cent of its residents’ housing needs.

Cllr Kyle Robinson, Cabinet member for Planning and Housing, said: “Everyone in our borough is entitled to safe, maintained housing and we are determined to protect our residents.  Newcastle Borough Council has acted swiftly to adopt these new powers to ensure we have the tools to take necessary action wherever we need to.   

“Adopting new civil penalties sends out a clear message to any criminal or rogue landlords in the borough.  We are not afraid to use the powers available to us if landlords fail to do right by their tenants.”

The council will continue to take court action in the most serious cases.