Council seeks views on new Housing Enforcement Policy and financial penaltiesPublished Wednesday 8 February 2023
Views are being sought for Harborough District Council’s approach to housing enforcement and the introduction of financial penalties for certain housing offences.
Harborough District Council is adopting a new Housing Enforcement Policy which outlines how it intends to tackle non compliance with housing related legislation. The policy states the legislative powers available to the Council and its incremental approach to enforcement.
The Housing Enforcement Policy, which aims to ensure that there is transparency for owners, landlords, agents and tenants of private sector and social housing properties, does not place any additional legislative burden on landlords who should already be compliant with the relevant legislation.
As well as the Housing Enforcement Policy, the Council is looking to introduce financial penalties as an alternative to prosecution for specific offences under the Housing Act 2004. The Civil Penalties Policy sets out the financial penalty calculation methodology.
Under the Civil Penalties Policy, there are additional policies for landlords in respect of The Domestic Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards Regulations and The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide (England) Regulations and both set out the proposed scale of financial penalties for various offences under these regulations.
The Council proposes to introduce an early payment discount if any financial penalty is paid early in line with the relevant policy.
Cllr Simon Whelband, Harborough District Council’s portfolio holder for Housing and Communities, said: “We have a friendly and informative approach first to resolving issues with landlords, but if informal conversations and warnings don’t work then the Housing Enforcement Policy is here to assist us in escalating to fines.
“This is a clear indication to tenants that we are here to support them. We want people to have the best quality housing possible.”
The Council’s proposed Housing Enforcement Policy and Civil Penalties Policy can be viewed at www.harborough.gov.uk/directory_record/551/regulatory_services_enforcement_policies
On 16 January 2023, Harborough District Council’s Cabinet considered the Housing Enforcement Policy and Financial Penalties report and agreed that it should move to consultation.
People can have their say on the consultation at https://www.harborough.gov.uk/consultation/info/133 until 8 March 2023.
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