A council says it has been preparing prosecution and penalty notices “for hundreds of private landlords that have failed to apply for licences to let their properties."
The statement comes from Sheffield council which in June designated 668 properties in one area as requiring licences from November 1 - that’s today.
The council says some landlords have applied but adds “as expected, many have resisted which means they are now in breach of the law, and risk criminal prosecution and financial penalties.”
The authority's Private Housing Standards team had been working in the area for around four years as a result of complaints; it says that over that time, council officers encouraged landlords to abide by their legal requirements and accept advice about how to repair and manage their properties.
“But the majority resisted the intervention which led to the recommendations to introduce the licensing scheme” the authority claims.
Councillor Jim Steinke, cabinet member for housing on Sheffield council, says: “Don’t underestimate our commitment and our powers. We mean what we say. We have thousands of safe and well managed private rented properties across the city. But we cannot ignore the despicable conditions we saw.”
Sheffield has around 40,000 private rented properties; the council says the majority are safe and well managed but it claims it receives around 2,000 queries from private tenants every year.