Wakefield Council Takes a Hard Line on Rogue Landlords

Wakefield Council is adopting a tough new stance against landlords who let sub-standard buy to let properties.

Wakefield landlords will definitely face prosecution under a hard line stance taken by Wakefield Council. The Council’s cabinet warned yesterday that rogue landlords will be prosecuted, facing fines of up to £30,000 for each offence if they fail to repair their properties as requested. Poor management and lack of improvement are also fined.

The council has been enlisted with new powers, including the ability to pursue landlords more vigorously. The council also aims to protect tenants and reduce inequalities in the private rental sector. They are also intending to tackle hazards in the home that cause ill health, including dampness, cold, fire and poor bathrooms and kitchens. The county courts will be used to enforce non-payment.

Leader of the council, Councillor Peter Box commented on the changes: ‘We need to make it abundantly clear that these are not just words on paper, we’re going to enforce this. If anyone is exploiting tenants we will be on their case – we want this to be meaningful in terms of enforcement.’

Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for economic growth and regeneration, Councillor Denise Jeffery, also said: ‘We have some great landlords in the district, but we have an awful lot that are letting anything happen. We are not building houses anymore and Wakefield District Housing is struggling so people are turning to private accommodation and some homes are just not up to standard. People come to us who are in despair, one person came to me and said they were having to live upstairs in their rented house because the downstairs was just not fit for purpose. It’s really important that we move forward to take a stand and say ‘we will not put up with this anymore’.