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New General Data Protection Regulation rules come in force May 2018
April 6, 2018
Rogue landlords who rent out second-rate properties face being forced out of the sector as new banning orders are brought in and a national database of offenders goes live today (6 April)
Landlords convicted of a range of housing, immigration and other criminal offences such as leasing overcrowded properties, fire and gas safety offences and unlawful eviction, will be put on the new database, so councils can share information and review those with a poor track record.
The private rented sector houses 4.7 million households in England and the government is delivering these reforms under the Housing and Planning Act 2016 so everyone has a safe and decent place to live.
Minister for Housing and Homelessness Heather Wheeler said: "I am committed to making sure people who are renting are living in safe and good quality properties. That's why we're cracking down on the small minority of landlords that are renting out unsafe and substandard accommodation.
"Landlords should be in no doubt that they must provide decent homes or face the consequences."
The database will be available to use by councils to crackdown on poor and unfair practice in the private rented sector such as overcrowded, squalid or dangerous accommodation, and to help target their enforcement action.
Rogue landlords convicted of offences under the government's new law may also be given banning orders preventing them from leasing accommodation for a period of time, ranging from 12 months to life. Councils must record details of any landlord or property agent who has received a banning order on the database. Landlords that ignore a banning order will face criminal sanctions including up to 6 months imprisonment and an unlimited fine.
The department will be able to use the database to publish regular updates on the number of landlords and agents who have been banned, convicted of a banning order offence or received two or more civil penalties, broken down by local authority area.
These measures follow the announcement that councils are also being given tough new powers to tackle the small minority of rogue landlords who rent out overcrowded properties and impose fines of up to £30,000 for those landlords who do not comply. Overcrowded and poor quality housing can result in excess noise, increased demand on local services such as waste collection and anti-social behaviour generally.
PCA members can set themselves apart from non-PCA member competition through their ability to provide customers with 'The PCA Promise'.
The PCA Promise is a type of warranty which covers timber treatment and damp-proofing works, as well as structural waterproofing and remedial wall ties. This is for domestic premises where the contract price (including VAT) is more than £250 and up to £50,000.
The PCA Promise meets the criteria required by TrustMark.
Under the scheme, the Association gives blanket coverage to its contractor members, so they can offer a guarantee on behalf of the PCA to cover their customers for work in progress and deposits.
There is no additional cost to customers for the guarantee, which ensures that should any contractor member of the Association go out of business while work is being done, then another PCA contractor will complete the work to the original specification at no extra cost.
Chair of the PCA Flood Resilience Group, Mary Dhonau OBE, represented the Association at the Environment Agency's recent Flood & Coast 2018 three day conference.
Mary both chaired and presented in the 'Property Flood Resilience' session on the second day.
Mary's presentation on the Cumbria Showcase concluded the session during which the involvement of the PCA through a number of its members was clearly highlighted.
The session also featured speakers from the Environment Agency, Aviva, Aquobex and Oxford Brookes University.
A rogue trader who left victims with shoddy, incomplete damp proofing work has recently been ordered to pay their victims compensation of just under £10,000, and has further been ordered to complete 250 hours of unpaid work.
The defendant had been convicted of a similar offence in 2012 when they traded under the name of Dynamic Property Care.
Back in 2008 the Association were involved in assisting the police and the courts in stopping a particularly lucrative and well organised scam involving fraudulent damp works being carried out on the homes of typically older or vulnerable people.
The perpetrators were Nigel John Hudson and his wife, and the operation was operating across the UK, Portugal and Spain, and they were arrested as part of a major international fraud investigation when they were trying to set up in Florida.
We have been advised by a member that they believe the same people may now be trying to implement a similar scam using a company called 'Britannia Holdings Europe Ltd'.
Concerns have been reported to the local Trading Standards authority in Coventry. The Association will contact Trading Standards through its links and will of course be available to help provide any supporting technical information etc that will assist any investigations and future actions.
If you come across anything that you think may be pertinent to the Trading Standards case please do let us know.