Legislation to improve tenants’ rights and raise standards in the private rented property sector approved by Kingston Council

A new package of legislation to improve tenants rights & raise standards in the lettings sector across the borough has been approved by the Council’s Culture, Housing, Environment & Planning Committee

The government has introduced a range of legislation to help tackle landlords and agents who do not treat tenants fairly. It will prevent, for example, tenants being charged hundreds of pounds for a damaged item that actually only costs a few pounds to replace. It will also ensure that tenants who have been charged unfair fees, get their money back quickly by reducing the time frame in which landlords and agents must pay back anything they have unlawfully charged.

The new legislation provides local authorities with enforcement measures such as Banning Orders, and the ability to serve fines of up to £30,000. In the most serious cases offences will be listed on the National Database of Rogue Landlords to help protect tenants and tackle poor practice by landlords and letting agents.

Kingston Council has approved the adoption of a Lettings Enforcement Policy, which includes a framework to use when considering the level of fines up to £30,000. Any money received as a result of a fixed penalty notice will be used within Regulatory Services to promote and future enforcement work in the sector and further protect and uphold tenants' rights.

Councillor Emily Davey, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Public Health, said:

"We are delivering on our manifesto commitment to drive up standards in the private rented sector. In the most part Kingston's private landlords and letting agents do a good job. However there are a small number of landlords and agents who do not treat tenants fairly or with the respect that they deserve. This new legislation gives us the power to tackle that small minority of landlords and letting agents who are letting tenants and the sector down.”

Councillor John Sweeney, Portfolio Holder for Business and Leisure, said:

“The new Private Lettings Legislation will help to ensure that all landlords and letting agents across the borough are upholding best practices and are providing an excellent and fair service to all tenants. This is a great way to improve and raise standards within the Lettings Sector and help to protect residents from poor and unlawful practice.”

Published: 23rd November 2020