West Country landlords 'to be penalised for poor homes'
Published by Sarah Ashcroft
New penalties for landlords who rent out homes that are below the required standards are being discussed in the West Country, with the region perhaps set to take the lead when it comes to acting upon substandard homes.
The Bristol Evening Post has told how North Somerset Council executive member for housing Elfan Ap Rees is leading a campaign to have new regulations implemented in Weston-super-Mare, which would see landlords who fail to look after their properties dealt with by the local authority.
Under the scheme, the council would have the power to order property owners to do them up if they are found to be below par. They would also be forced to make urgent repairs should any serious flaws be uncovered.
"Some landlords do almost nothing to maintain and improve their properties causing tenants to live in poor conditions. We have listened to the local concerns and want to tackle this issue by ensuring that landlords have a duty to look after their properties and cater for the basic accommodation needs of their tenants," explained councillor Ap Rees.
Should the proposal become a reality, it would mean landlords have to change the way they respond to problems in their homes if they are to avoid the council intervening. Tenants might also find themselves in a position of renewed power, as they would be able to report those property owners who do not adhere to the rules.
The councillor added that a survey has been carried out in Weston-super-Mare and it showed that poorly managed accommodation is having a negative impact on the town as a whole.
A period of consultation over the plans is scheduled to run for ten weeks, after which the council will be in a better position to make a decision. Should the changes be introduced, it could mark the beginning of a new wave of legislation around the UK that forces landlords to provide more suitable accommodation to tenants.
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Published on: March 13, 2013
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