Landlords Ignore Improvement Notices At Their Peril

The Sheffield Star published an article over the summer stating that 668 properties around London Road, Abbeydale Road and Chesterfield Road were so dilapidated, they were unfit for habitation.

Common problems with properties ranged from a lack of property management, up to properties being in dangerous conditions. It was reported that some landlords even failed to carry out the corrective works to their properties that were ordered by the Local Authority by way of improvement notices. Local Authority officers were subjected to unnecessary aggression and also violence from some landlords, which leaving officers fearing for the safety of tenants.

Their is increased pressure on Landlords from the Local Authority to maintain and keep in repair their rented accommodation. However, this should be seen as a positive. It is not an excuse for the sort of behaviour reported by the Sheffield Star. Well maintained accomodation is good for business. It is more desirable to tenants meaning you can maximise income on your rental properties. A tenant living in accomodation in disrepair is also likely more likely to withhold rent, or leave the property before the official end of their tenancy.

A big concern for landlords is keeping up with the ongoing introduction of new legislation and regulations. I have seen a number of landlords that were unaware of many ongoing developments in the law.

Deregulation Act 2015

For example, from 1 October 2018, legislation brought in via the Deregulation Act 2015 relating to residential tenancies that commenced on/after 1 October 2015 will apply to all tenancies. This is regardless of when they were granted. Landlords will need to be aware of the requirements of this legislation otherwise they will have a great deal of difficulty recovering possession of their property and could face sanctions brought by the Local Authority.

Landlords continuing to ignore improvement notices served by the Local Authority could find themselves the subject to severe penalties. These may include:

  • Banning orders
  • Registration on a list of rogue landlords
  • Criminal charges

If as a landlord you receive a Local Authority notice, you should obtain legal advice. This is particularly important if this is the first time, you are unsure what to do, or if you are unaware of any of the legal obligations placed upon them.

The failure to comply can lead to severe and unwelcome consequences.

About the author

James Parden is a property litigation lawyer based at our Sheffield office.

For more advice on this topic or related matters:

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