Banning orders were introduced on the 6th April 2018 under the Housing and Planning Act 2016. The Housing and Planning Act 2016 (Banning Order Offences) Regulations 2018 a Statutory Instrument numbered 2018 No. 216, introduced civil penalties of up to £30,000 as well as the extension of rent repayment orders. The intention was to crack down on rogue landlords renting out substandard or unsafe accommodation.
A banning order can be made by a Tribunal as a result of an application by a local housing authority. Once an order is made it is a criminal offence for the landlord to, amongst other things, let a property in England.
The local housing authority needs to consider the evidence and impact on the tenants as well as previous conduct of a landlord before seeking an order. The period of a ban has no maximum limit, however, must be for a minimum of 12 months.
Telford and Wrekin Council successfully obtained an order against a landlord named Beattie in September 2019 with a banning order for 5 years. In addition, Beattie was ordered to repay £2,000 under a rent repayment order. The period of the ban was such as Beattie had granted a licence to his tenants as opposed to an Assured Shorthold Tenancy so failing to provide them with security of tenure. The landlord had already been deemed not fit and proper to hold a licence for a House in Multiple Occupation and had a number of previous convisitons.
It is likely that more banning and rent repayment orders will now follow.
More details on banning and rent repayment orders can be found in the following document “Guidance for Local Housing Authorities“.