Councils that have been awarded additional cash injections by government could use their windfalls to enhance their enforcement of the private rental sector - with more Banning Orders a possible consequence.
That’s the view of PropTech entrepreneur Neil Cobbold who says Banning Orders - introduced as part of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 and aimed at ridding the private sector of the worst rogue agents and landlords - may become more commonplace this year.
It took until September 2019 for the first one to be issued, with only a few more handed out since; those on the receiving end get a criminal record and are prohibited to serve as landlords or agents or property managers.
"Banning orders are only reserved for the very worst offenders. We may see a number of penalty options used, but local authorities that do increase enforcement will show that they are serious about raising industry standards" says Cobbold.
"With further legislation changes expected throughout this year, it’s important that the authorities do everything they can with the additional funding to ensure widespread compliance" he adds.
Earlier this month it was announced that 100 local councils would receive an additional £4m in funding to combat rogue landlords and letting agencies.
Some councils have been explicit in how they will use their share of the cash - over 100 enforcement officers will be trained across Yorkshire and Humberside, and a Special Operations Unit will be set up in Northampton, for example.
"One of the biggest issues in the rental sector in recent years is the lack of enforcement of a rising number of regulations aimed at improving industry standards” Cobbold continues.
"More enforcement officers across the country would significantly help to increase compliance, meeting the government's goal of raising standards and discouraging rogue operators" he says.
Cobbold is chief operating officer of PayProp, a lettings payment automation provider.