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Local authority set to charge landlords for enforcement

Landlords who refuse to comply with requests to improve their properties should be charged a £400 admin bill when orders are made against them. These would include improvement notices, prohibition orders and management orders.

The proposal is from Southend Council, which is set to incorporate it into next year’s budget.

Jacqui Lansley, the council’s head of community strategy and development, said it would have a dual effect of raising money for the authority, which has a £10m black hole in its budget, and encouraging landlords to act.

She said: “Wherever possible we seek to work co-operatively with landlords and managing agents to resolve problems informally.

“However, in those cases where landlords refuse to comply, these charges should help deter them from not maintaining their properties.”

She added: “The new charges relate to enforcement work undertaken by the council where informal enforcement and liaison with a landlord has proved unsuccessful and a formal enforcement notice or order has proved necessary.”

She said that the £400 had been calculated in terms of officer hours involved in serving orders and notices.

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