Crack­down on slum land­lords

Sunday Sun - - News -

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.”

Joyce McCarty

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