Thursday, 6 August 2015

Rogue Landlords Could Be Forced To Repay Housing Benefit

Landlords could have to re-pay 12 months’ worth of housing benefit if they illegally evict tenants or fail to maintain their properties, under government plans. A government discussion paper says, “An effective enforcement regime is essential to drive up housing standards in the private rented sector and tackle criminal landlords.” The document says ministers are “exploring the scope” for extending ‘rent repayment orders’ – a tool in which a court can order a landlord to repay up to 12 months of rent after an application from a council or tenant. The cash can be retained by the local authority and used for housing purposes where the rent has been paid through housing benefit. Currently, rent repayment orders can only be applied where a landlord has failed to obtain a licence for a licensable property. Download the consultation paper from the CLG website.

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