Issue - meetings
Update on the Law relating to Private Rented Sector Housing
This report provides an update to the Executive Leader regarding the implementation of new laws introduced last year. Details of further changes have not been released by the government and a further report will be required when these are available.
- Appendix A - Redress Scheme, item 15 PDF 241 KB
- Appendix B - Private Sector Housing Laws CIA, item 15 PDF 418 KB
i) That the report be noted and it be agreed that the fixed penalty fines remain at the maximum level in line with guidance to ensure that the laws introduced last year deter poor practice within the sector.
ii) That it be noted that further changes to the law relating to the Private Rented Sector (PRS) will be introduced sometime in 2017 due to the provisions of the Housing and Planning Act 2016.
Reason: To continue to impose the maximum monetary penalty will send out the right message to agents/landlords who need to ensure that they are providing transparency when setting fees and continue to improve the management/safety of the properties they let.
The Executive Leader considered a report that updated him on the implementation of three new laws introduced in 2015 that affected the:
· Private Rented Sector (PRS)
· Redress Schemes for Letting Agents and property management work.
· Duty of Letting Agents to publicise fees and the installation of Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors.
The Housing Standards and Adaptations Manager gave an update and confirmed last year:
· Officers had written to 77 agents operating in the city to highlight the laws and the financial penalties for not joining a redress scheme and publicising fees.
· Nine non-responding agents received a visit and officers were able to establish that all known agents at that stage were compliant.
· Two complaints had been received but when investigated the agents were found to be fully compliant.
Officers then provided a verbal update to the report, explaining that following the recent random sample survey, where they had found four out of six letting agents premises to be non-compliant, the remaining letting agents were visited. In total 47 letting agents, including the initial six were found to be letting homes on behalf of others and:
· fifteen were found to be non-compliant.
· seven were failing to display their fees in the office,
· four were failing to display their fees on their website and
· five were failing to display fees either in their office or on their website.
This resulted in the penalty charge notice procedure to be invoked which allowed 28 days to appeal or risk a maximum fine of up to £5000.
The Executive Member noted that the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors legislation required all private rented properties, regardless of type or number of tenants, to have a smoke alarm and a carbon monoxide alarm fitted in any room which was used wholly or partly as living accommodation or contained a solid fuel burning combustion appliance. Officers confirmed they had worked closely with North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue to publicise this law via press releases, the City of York Council website and landlord events, where more than 260 free fire alarms were provided to landlords. To date only 3 complaints had been received to investigate and no penalty charge notices had been issued.
Discussions took place regarding the new laws in the Housing and Planning Act 2016 including a package of measures aimed at tackling rogue landlords in the private rented sector. The Executive Leader noted that the new laws would not impact the private rented sector until 2017 and he welcomed an update at a future Executive Leader (incorporating Housing & Safer Neighbourhoods) Decision Session.
a) That the report be noted and it be agreed that the fixed penalty fines remain at the maximum level in line with guidance to ensure that the laws introduced last year deter poor practice within the sector.
b) That it be noted that further changes to the law relating to the Private Rented Sector (PRS) will be introduced sometime in 2017 due to the provisions of the Housing and Planning Act ... view the full minutes text for item 15