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Landlords faces fine of £30,000 from local councils

Landlords in Devon whose properties aren’t up to scratch could be fined up to £30,000 under new powers given to local authorities.

Councillors in Devon have agreed a series of penalties in a bid to improve standards of private rented accommodation, according to a local newspaper report.

Devon Live reveals that rogue landlords in Torbay could be on the receiving end of fines of up to £30,000 under new penalties which are set to be rolled out across the county.

Some 22 per cent of homes in Torbay are privately rented – almost double the national average of 12 per cent – but many are falling short of standards. In 70 per cent of property inspections by the council in the first quarter of the year resulted in formal action, it is understood.   

Under new laws councils across Devon will be able to impose penalties such as rent repayment orders and banning orders. It will also introduce a database of rogue landlords and letting agents.

Experts say this will help councils avoid having to go to court for each individual case. Councils have previously said they could only take action against a small proportion of the worst offenders because of the lengthy and costly process.

Local authorities were first given new powers to crack down on rogue landlords back in April. They can now impose fines of up to £5,000 for failing to install smoke or carbon monoxide detectors. Larger fines, it is hoped, will drive out sub-standard landlords and poor-quality rental homes across the country.

Torbay Council executive lead for housing Councillor Mark King says: “This policy gives Torbay Council the powers it needs to tackle the small percentage of bad landlords that operate in the area. We will be using the full force of this policy to ensure that the letting of sub-standard properties are a thing of the past.”  

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