Dire warning issued to rogue landlords


Mendip District Council issued a firm warning to any landlord partaking in harassment or illegal eviction of tenants

A dire warning has been issued to rogue landlords after a Somerset council said tenants had been left ‘frightened and threatened’ by the actions of those managing their homes.

Mendip District Council issued a firm warning to any landlord partaking in harassment or illegal eviction of tenants as they look to crack down alongside Avon and Somerset Police.

Laws in place about landlord activity can see them prosecuted for a range of actions, including unlawful eviction, using or threatening violence to gain entry and harassing existing tenants.

The statement from the council said that illegal activity from landlords ‘will not be tolerated’ as well as confirming it would not hesitate to issue banning orders to the most serious offenders.

The statement said: Harassment and illegal evictions will not be tolerated. That’s the strong message from Mendip District Council, whose housing officers are determined to root out rogue landlords.

Working with colleagues in Avon and Somerset Police, Mendip’s housing options team and private sector housing team are targeting landlords found flouting the law. The aim of the action is to protect those tenants who feel hassled or threatened in their chosen homes, it said.

Laws introduced in April 2018 empowered local authorities to issue banning orders to the most serious offending landlords and agents, operating in their communities, it added.

Offences include unlawful eviction or harassment; using or threatening violence to gain entry into a premises; non-compliance with fire safety regulations, improvement notices and a range of other regulations. Those handed a ban are prevented from renting out properties, engaging in property management or letting agency work, it added.

It said: Alongside the tough talk, Mendip is also working to educate and advise both landlords and tenants as to their rights and responsibilities under the law, in a drive to improve standards across the private rented sector.

Councillor Richard Pinnock, portfolio holder for housing services and governance, said the council had been made aware of some tenants feeling ‘frightened and threatened’ by their landlords and was determined to take action.

He said: Whilst the vast majority of landlords are perfectly fine and fair, we know some tenants feel frightened and threatened. That cannot be right, and this council will not tolerate such behaviour.


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