Crackdown on slum landlords
COUNCIL bosses are poised to launch a crackdown on rogue landlords renting out dangerous and overcrowded homes.
New penalties of up to £30,000 will be issued to irresponsible landlords, under strict new enforcement measures expected to be rubber-stamped by Newcastle City Council’s cabinet tomorrow.
It is hoped the hefty fines will act as a more powerful deterrent to offenders than the threat of prosecution and smaller, court-imposed penalties, while also providing a faster and cheaper option for the local authority than taking landlords to court.
Council bosses are adamant it should not be cheaper to let out an unsafe home and accept a small fine than to keep a property well maintained and properly managed.
Deputy council leader, Coun Joyce McCarty, said: “More than 20 per cent of housing in Newcastle is in the private rented sector. The vast majority of landlords are responsible but there is a small element who do not care about tenants.
“By adopting this policy, we will be using Government powers to issue financial penalties instead of having to prosecute and take them through the courts. Our response will be quicker and more costeffective for the council.
“We always take a pragmatic approach - we won’t be issuing penalties immediately but giving landlords time to get their homes in order. For those who do not, the message is clear, depending on the severity of offences they could face fines of up to £30,000.”