New powers to tackle rogue landlords now available to west Suffolk councils

West Suffolk House in Bury, the Council Public Services Village.

West Suffolk House in Bury, the Council Public Services Village. - Credit: Archant

New powers to tackle rogue landlords – including fines of up to £30,000 – are now available to west Suffolk councils following decisions to adopt new policy.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Forest Heath District Council have adopted a civil sanctions policy which gives local housing authorities the option of civil penalty fines as an alternative to prosecuting the very worse landlords.

Currently the council deals with offences such as breach of improvement notice, breach of prohibition order and operating an unlicensed House in Multiple Occupation through prosecution for the more serious cases.

The powers became available under the Housing and Planning Act in 2016 and the policy was developed in consultation with local landlords and tenants.

Sara Mildmay White, lead member for housing for Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury councils, said: “We value the role played by private sector landlords, the vast majority of whom provide safe and healthy homes.


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“Our local landlords used the consultation to show strong support for the civil measures introduced in this policy, aimed at protecting tenants from unhealthy and unsafe living conditions provided by rogue landlords for whom the current sanctions are not sufficient deterrent.”

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