Rotherham Council Set to Implement Banning Orders on Landlords

Rotherham Council set to implement banning orders on landlords

In an attempt to crack down on local rogue landlords, Rotherham Council is set to ban landlords from renting out properties, if they are found guilty of:

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  • Unlawful eviction
  • Harassment
  • Overcrowding 
  • Fire or gas safety offences

Those who ignore the order could then be faced with a custodial sentence of up to 51 weeks, an unlimited fine, or both.

Increase in unregulated lettings

There has been an increase in unregulated and/or unaccredited agents and landlords in Rotherham advertising rented properties through social media, without any appropriate letting background, according to a report by the council. 

The council said:

A number of landlords have now, as a result of selective licensing, been found to be in breach of relevant legislation This policy will offer the council the means to take action against landlords and agents who have been convicted of certain offences, and who routinely offer poor housing, often to the poorest and most vulnerable in society.

The authority wants to provide protection to tenants and the wider community with the move and said it believes there is a ‘clear public interest’ in managing landlords who commit serious offences effectively. The council feels that banning orders are ‘a necessary tool’ to improve the sector and protect tenants.

In 2020 there were protests over the council’s selective licencing scheme which it extended and expanded, with people saying it would cause an unnecessary financial burden on landlords.

Licence Costs

It costs £521 for a licence for those with properties in:

  • Eastwood/Town Centre
  • Masbrough
  • Maltby South East
  • Dinnington
  • Thurcroft and Parkgate areas

Banning orders were set to be approved at the council’s next cabinet meeting on April 25th, 2022.

The best steps a landlord can take

You should always make sure that you are keeping on top of any legal requirements as a landlord and keep yourself informed. Laws and regulations change all the time – for example, landlords in Wales are currently preparing for big changes this July.

At this point, you are legally required to have:

  • Gas Safety Certificate. You need to update this every 12 months and your tenant should have a copy of the latest in-date certificate before they move in
  • EICR. This checks your electrics are all safe and should be updated every 5 years. Again, an in-date copy should be provided to the tenant before they move in. 
  • Energy Performance Certificates. Unlike the previous two certificates, this is less about safety and more about efficiency. The minimum rating is likely to go up to C in the next couple of years, so while an EPC only needs updating every 10 years, it’s worthwhile getting it updated after any changes to the property that would improve the rating 
  • Working fire alarms. You should make sure that there is a fire alarm on every floor of the property and that it is in full working order before your tenant moves in. If you have any solid fuel burning appliances, you’ll need to have a carbon monoxide alarm too
  • Right to Rent checks. Make sure that you are completely aware of the checks you need to do on your tenants before they move in. While tenant referencing is optional, a Right to Rent check is a legal requirement
  • Deposit Protection. You have to protect your tenant’s deposit in one of three government approved schemes within 30 days of receipt and you should send proof of this (the ‘prescribed information’) to your tenant as soon as you have it

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