Yet more anti-landlord legislation starts to become operative this April (2017). This one is unimaginatively called The Housing & Planning Act 2016.
How does it affect landlords? Will YOU be forced to repay rent to your tenants?
If you are found guilty by a tribunal of any of the following offences you can be ordered to pay back up to 12 months’ rent…
- Failing to comply with an Improvement Notice under section 30 of The Housing Act 2004.
- Failing to comply with a Prohibition Order under section 32 of The Housing Act 2004.
- Any breach of a banning order made under section 21 of the Housing & Planning Act 2016 (this act)
- If you use violence to gain entry to a property under section 6 of the Criminal Law Act 1977.
- If you illegally evict or harass the occupiers of a property under section 1 of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977.
Making an example of transgressing landlords
The above applies whether you are receiving rent direct from a tenant or wholly or partly from the local authority. The act also states that tribunals need to take deterrence into account when fining landlords and urges making examples of transgressors to dissuade others.
Either your tenant(s) or the local authority can apply for Rent Repayment Orders.
These powers come into effect on 6th April 2017.
The main points of the new laws are…
• Civil penalties of up to £30,000 as an alternative to prosecution for certain specified offences.
• Extension of rent repayment orders of up to 12 MONTHS’ rent, to cover illegal eviction, a breach of a banning order and certain other specified offences (coming into force on 6 April 2017);
• There’ll be a database of rogue landlords and property agents who have been convicted of certain offences or received multiple civil penalties (scheduled to come into force on 1 October 2017);
• Banning orders for the most serious and prolific offenders (scheduled to come into force on 1 October 2017).
The full dreary details are here.