Decision details

Private Housing Standards Intervention and Enforcement Policy Review

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Decision:

11.1

Private Housing Standards is responsible for the regulation of properties in the private sector. The Intervention and Enforcement Policy gives the rationale and standards of enforcement that the service provides. It is a public document that sets out our approach and decision-making process.

 

The Policy was last reviewed in 2018 and it is important that Councils regularly review their policies to ensure they are fit for purpose. This review has resulted in the service identifying benefits by changing its approach.

 

This report seeks approval for the proposed changes to the Private Housing Standards Intervention and Enforcement Policy.

 

 

11.2

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That the Housing Policy Committee:-

 

1.     approves the content of the revised Intervention and Enforcement Policy, which forms part of the Private Sector Housing Services Policy, in the form attached at Appendix 1, for implementation from 1st May 2024; and

 

2.     grants delegated authority to the Director of Housing, in consultation with the Chair of the Housing Policy Committee, to make, where necessary, any minor amendments and updates to the policy that are required to reflect any organisational or legislative changes which take place prior to the policy being formally reviewed by the Housing Policy Committee.

 

 

11.3

Reasons for Decision

 

 

11.3.1

By approving the proposed changes this will enable the Service to ensure dangerous properties are made legally compliant in a shorter timeframe, thereby, reducing the time period during which occupants are subjected hazardous living conditions.

 

 

11.3.2

The Service will become more streamlined in its delivery of service, as it will be able to dedicate more resources to targeting and sanctioning the worst landlords, while not penalising compliant landlords, resulting in a fairer system for all.

 

 

11.3.3

There is the potential for an increase in the number of criminal sanctions being brought against non-compliant landlords, due to the increased frequency of formal enforcement action being taken and the removal of the initial informal approach. Not only will this hopefully bring about a change in attitude in previously non-compliant landlords but will also bring about a potential for increased revenue for the Service through the imposition of financial penalties for certain breaches of housing law.

 

 

11.3.4

Security of tenure for residents in the private rented sector will be increased, as they will no longer feel threatened by the potential of retaliatory eviction and will be empowered to raise concerns relating to the conditions in the home. Not only will this bring about to positive health effects and community cohesion, mentioned above, but may also result in a reduced burden on homelessness duty, placed upon the Council.

 

 

11.4

Alternatives Considered and Rejected

 

 

11.4.1

Do Nothing

This would mean the Service will continue to follow the current Intervention and Enforcement Policy which has been in place since 2018. This would result in the benefits outlined in this report not being achieved.

 

This will mean that the service is not compliant with the new HMO fee policy as approved by Housing Policy Committee on the 14th September 2023, as this contains plans for us to issue reduced term licences.

 

Publication date: 28/03/2024

Date of decision: 21/03/2024

Decided at meeting: 21/03/2024 - Housing Policy Committee

Accompanying Documents: