On 6 April 2017, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) published statutory guidance on civil penalties under the Housing and Planning Act 2016 (HPA), which applies only in England.
Section 126 of the HPA, which came into force last month on 10 March 2017, amends the Housing Act 2004 (HA) to allow Local Housing Authorities to impose financial penalties up to £30,000 on landlords as an alternative to prosecution for certain offences.
These offences include:
- offence of failing to comply with improvement notice (section 30)
- offences in relation to licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) (section 72)
- offences in relating to licensing of houses under Part 3 (Section 95)
- offences of contravention of an overcrowding notices (section 139)
- offences in relation to management regulations in respect of HMOs (section 234)
The full guidance is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/606653/Civil_Penalties_guidance.pdf and provides a greater background on civil penalties, and aims to help Local Housing Authorities determine appropriate sanctions for offences, and ensure that correct procedure is followed. The guidance additionally contains details of:
- The database of rogue landlords and the use of income from civil penalties.
- Enforcement of penalties.
- The role of the First-tier Tribunal in appeals.
If you are a Landlord and are concerned about your legal position in relation to any of the above offences, please contact a member of the Property Dispute Resolution team for assistance - PDR@daviesandpartners.com