Nearly 200 Hull landlords have been caught and punished by the council for a selection of offences over the past 12 months.
Hull City Council has reported that over the past year it has prosecuted six rogue landlords, whilst a further 192 have been issued with improvement notices regarding the state of their property. Of the offences listed, many related to the letting of unsafe properties which were found by council inspectors to be ‘structurally unsound.’ Other issues included the failure to maintain smoke and fire alarms as well as inadequate property management.
Portfolio holder for housing and infrastructure, Councillor John Black, said: ‘As a council, our role to ensure that tenant’s rights are protected and anybody taking on the role of landlord needs to be fully aware of their responsibilities under the law, and these include the extended powers granted to local authorities which have been introduced this month. While most landlords in the city have a high regard for tenants’ rights, there is a minority who think they can ignore the rules and take advantage of their tenants.’
The rise in the detection of landlord malpractice can be attributed to the implementation of a landlord accreditation scheme in the city. The local authority said that it works closely with responsible property investors in Hull, whilst the scheme offers the option to fine criminal landlords up to £30,000. The scheme has also given the council the power to access tenancy deposit protection data in order to identify areas where homeowners are acting illegally.
Furthermore, rent repayment orders have been extended to cover circumstances such as illegal evictions, harassment or using violence to secure entry.
Councillor Black concluded: ‘These new powers enable us to extend greater protection to tenants and hold landlords accountable.’