Bad landlords could be fined by Bradford Council in future instead of the expensive and lengthy process of going through the courts.
A report going to the Council’s Executive on Tuesday November 7 asks for housing enforcement policy to be amended so the Council can issue civil penalty notices for offences as laid down in the Housing and Planning Act 2016 instead of prosecution.
Money from fines would then be ring-fenced and invested back into the service.
The new Act also includes rent repayment orders which means tenants could be recompensed by the Property Tribunal for monies paid while they were living in sub-standard housing.
Implementation of these new powers also requires the Council’s Private Sector Housing Enforcement Policy to be amended.
Coun Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s executive member for regeneration, said: “We welcome this new legislation and the new powers we have which means we can impose civil penalties as an alternative to prosecution. This means it will be quicker and easier to take action against bad landlords.
“The importance of the private rented sector in the district has grown significantly from 11 per cent of housing in 2007 to 18 per cent in 2015 and this is where problems tend to occur. We need to address these as everyone has the right to a decent home.”