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Fee Structure for Fixed Penalty Notices for Housing Act 2004 Offences

21/12/2017 - Fee Structure for Fixed Penalty Notices for Housing Act 2004 Offences

This item was Chaired by Councillor Mike Todd-Jones

 

Matter for Decision

 

In April of this year The Housing Act 2004 was amended by the Housing and Planning Act 2016. The 2016 Act introduced a range of measures to crack down on rogue landlords including the introduction of civil penalties of up to £30,000 as an alternative to prosecution for certain specified offences.

 

In serving a Civil Penalty Notice under these amendments the Council must decide a charge on a case by case basis rather than having a fixed fee. Cambridge intends to address this in the same method as other local authorities by creating a charging matrix.

 

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

  i.  Approved the charge levels for the enforcement of Civil Penalty notices for relevant Housing Act 2004 offences as set out in Appendix 1 of the Officer’s report.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Environmental Health Officer.

 

The Environmental Health Officer said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  Standard Civil Penalty recovery notices would be used to pursue payment defaults.

  ii.  Confirmed that an initial investigation would establish who was responsible for the property. In the case of an absent landlord, this could be a management agency. Action would be taken against that person or agency.

  iii.  The policy would be reviewed annually to monitor its impact.

  iv.  The use of any income raised would be restricted to further enforcement work.

  v.  Sub-letting leaseholders would be subject to the same regulations.

 

The Head of Environmental Health confirmed that further regulation on this matter was expected some-time next year. This could result in a further review of staffing levels expected as some point next year.

 

The Committee resolved by 6 votes to 0 to endorse the recommendation.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendation.