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Politicians want to take ‘harder line’ with rogue agents

Harlow council says it wants to take a harder line against agents and landlords who knowingly let unsafe and substandard properties with damp and mould issues.

A four week public consultation is underway and the council says it would particularly like to hear from tenants, landlords and associated organisations.

The new policy the council wants to adopt incorporates additional civic penalty powers and sets out the maximum levels of fines the council could impose for non-compliance. 


This includes fines of up to £30,000 for failure to comply with legislation such as electrical safety standards or ongoing breaches which affect the health and safety of tenants.

The new policy aims to Improve the standard of homes in the private sector; assess local housing conditions including damp and mould; reduce the number of properties with serious risks to health and safety; and cut the number of vulnerable households living in non-decent homes.

Additionally it aims to improve the energy efficiency and warmth of homes and to help reduce fuel poverty, boost standards in private rented accommodation, and especially standards in HMOs.

Councillor Nicola Purse, cabinet portfolio holder for environment and sustainability, says: “We are working hard to fix council housing by improving the standards of our own homes, but we also want to do more to improve the conditions of the homes we are not responsible for. 

“Nearly a quarter of homes in Harlow are from the private rented sector. We want to support the good landlords who play by the rules and provide decent, well-maintained homes. 

“However, we will act with full force against those rogue landlords, letting agents and property managers who knowingly rent out unsafe and substandard accommodation.

“This proposed policy will allow us to take a harder line and impose stricter penalties, so our residents who privately rent don’t have to accept living in poor quality homes.”

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    Will they apply the same “full force” against social landlords?

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    Sort out the social landlords first, they are the biggest rule breakers


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