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Brentwood Borough Council

FOI 10228

Private sector housing

Request


I am seeking information concerning the effectiveness of local authorities’ enforcement activities in the private rented sector.




I appreciate that local authorities are structured differently and will have various routes for different kinds of complaints to be handled. The departments that may deal with these complaints include: Housing Advice, Housing Options, Homeless Persons Unit, Environmental Health, Private Sector Housing, Trading Standards, Tenancy Relations, Customer Services, Legal.




I have therefore broken down complaints by type in questions 1 – 5, and if different departments in your authority follow through each of these types of complaint you may wish to send questions 7 – 11 to each of those departments to get their response.





1) How many complaints against private landlords concerning illegal eviction have you received in each financial year since 2009/10?

2) How many complaints against private landlords concerning harassment have you received in each financial year since 2009/10?

3) How many complaints against private landlords concerning category I or II hazards under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) have you received in each financial year since 2009/10?

4) How many complaints against private landlords concerning unlicensed Houses in Multiple Occupation have you received in each financial year since 2009/10?

5) How many complaints concerning financial scams (such as unfair charges, withheld deposits), against private landlords have you received in each financial year since 2009/10?

6) Roughly, how many private landlords have you repeatedly dealt with that give you continued cause for concern?

7) How many cases against private landlords in total have you taken pre-enforcement action (such as a letter or verbal warning to the landlord) and in how many cases were you able to resolve the issue in each financial year since 2009/10?

8) On how many cases have you taken formal enforcement action (such as injunctions or court orders) against private landlords in each financial year since 2009/10? And how many have been complied with?

9) How many prosecutions have you brought against private landlords in each financial year since 2009/10? And how many were successful?


10) i) What proportion and ii) how many of your local authority’s private rented properties meet the Decent Homes Standard?


12) When dealing with private landlords in the financial year 2013/14 have you seen cases where their behaviour or neglect has required the involvement other public services?


Yes/No If yes please can you estimate the number of cases


Fire (e.g. due to hazards in the property)
Health (e.g. hospitalisation of a tenant)
Police (e.g. prosecuting a landlord)
Other (please specify)

13) i) How many private landlords operating in your local authority are currently accredited (if you have an accreditation scheme); ii) what proportion is this of all private landlords and iii) what year did your accreditation scheme come into force?


14) Do you operate a selective licensing scheme or schemes in your local authority area?

15) Is there anything else you would like to tell us about how you deal with problem landlords in your area?



Response

1) How many complaints against private landlords concerning illegal eviction have you received in each financial year since 2009/10?

09/10 – nil 10/11 – nil 11/12 – nil 12/13 –5 13/14 - 1


2) How many complaints against private landlords concerning harassment have you received in each financial year since 2009/10?
09/10 – nil 10/11 – nil 11/12 – nil 12/13 – 6 13/14 - 9
3) How many complaints against private landlords concerning category I or II hazards under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) have you received in each financial year since 2009/10?

09/10 – 107 – 10/11 -108 11/12 – 128 12/13 – 161 13/14 - 135

4) How many complaints against private landlords concerning unlicensed Houses in Multiple Occupation have you received in each financial year since 2009/10?
NONE
5) How many complaints concerning financial scams (such as unfair charges, withheld deposits), against private landlords have you received in each financial year since 2009/10?NOT KNOWN

6) Roughly, how many private landlords have you repeatedly dealt with that give you continued cause for concern?
ONE
7) How many cases against private landlords in total have you taken pre-enforcement action (such as a letter or verbal warning to the landlord) and in how many cases were you able to resolve the issue in each financial year since 2009/10? NOT KNOWN BUT VERY RARE

8) On how many cases have you taken formal enforcement action (such as injunctions or court orders) against private landlords in each financial year since 2009/10? And how many have been complied with? - NONE

9) How many prosecutions have you brought against private landlords in each financial year since 2009/10? And how many were successful? - NONE


10) i) What proportion and ii) how many of your local authority's private rented properties meet the Decent Homes Standard?
NOT KNOWN

12) When dealing with private landlords in the financial year 2013/14 have you seen cases where their behaviour or neglect has required the involvement other public services? - NO


Yes/No If yes please can you estimate the number of cases


Fire (e.g. due to hazards in the property)
Health (e.g. hospitalisation of a tenant)
Police (e.g. prosecuting a landlord)
Other (please specify)

13) i) How many private landlords operating in your local authority are currently accredited (if you have an accreditation scheme); ii) what proportion is this of all private landlords and iii) what year did your accreditation scheme come into force?

SCHEME ESTABLISHED BUT ONLY JUST STARTED
14) Do you operate a selective licensing scheme or schemes in your local authority area?
NO


15) Is there anything else you would like to tell us about how you deal with problem landlords in your area?

NO