Banning Order Policy (non compliant landlords)
This policy explains how the Council will use its powers under the Housing and Planning Act 2016 to ban non-compliant landlords and managing agents from renting out properties within the private rented sector.
This policy is an appendix to Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council’s Corporate Enforcement Policy and should be read in conjunction with the current Corporate Enforcement Policy.
The Council is committed to improving standards in private sector housing, with the aim of ensuring that all private rented accommodation is well managed, properly maintained, safe and habitable.
Whilst the Council acknowledges that compliant landlords do operate their business responsibly in Welwyn Hatfield, there are a significant number of irresponsible landlords who knowingly rent out accommodation that is unlicensed, substandard, or unsafe.
Part 2, Chapter 2 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 enabled Local Authorities to apply to the First-Ter Tribunal (FTT) to impose a banning order on a landlord following conviction for a banning order offence. A banning order offence is an offence of a description specified in The Housing and Planning Act 2016 (Banning Order Offences) Regulations 2018.
The Housing and Planning Act 2016 introduced a range of measures to help local authorities deal more robustly with rogue and irresponsible landlords:
• Civil penalties of up to £30,000 as an alternative to prosecution for certain specified offences (came into force on 6 April 2017);
• Extension of rent repayment orders to cover illegal eviction, breach of a banning order, failure to comply with an improvement notice and certain other specified offences (came into force on 6 April 2017);
• Database of rogue landlords and property agents who have been convicted of certain offences or received multiple civil penalties (came into force on 6 April 2018);
• Banning orders for the most serious and prolific offenders (came into force on 6 April 2018).
To utilise the banning order powers, it is best practice to have in place its own policy as to when to pursue a banning order, and to decide the most appropriate course of action on a case-by-case basis in line with that policy.
This policy gives due regard to the non-statutory guidance issued by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, which sets an expectation that banning orders should be aimed at the most serious offenders