City council launches major crackdown on revenge evictions

Brighton & Hove Council has launched a crackdown on revenge evictions as it works towards a zero-tolerance approach to rogue landlords.

In a review of its PRS enforcement policy, the authority will look at measures to reduce the risk of revenge evictions by serving improvement notices and emergency remedial action notices as soon as possible. Councillors have agreed that where there’s a history of landlords carrying out revenge evictions following a repairs report, it will serve a pre-emptive improvement notice to protect tenants.

It is urging tenants to report the need for any necessary improvements so it can discuss steps that can be taken before it contacts the landlord. If these aren’t made, it would explore taking enforcement action.

Its private sector housing team requested improvements to 462 privately rented homes between April and December last year; following council intervention, most of these were improved by landlords without the need for enforcement action. Only 13 statutory notices or civil notices were served to bring about the necessary work.

First instance

Councillor David Gibson, co-chair of the housing committee (pictured), says it always wants to work with landlords to bring about improvements in the first instance.

“In most cases, once our private sector housing team intervenes, landlords undertake to carry out the necessary work and we ensure they do so,” he adds.

“If they fail to comply with what’s needed, we will then take enforcement action. We have already issued 550% more fines this year so far compared to the previous year.”

Brighton & Hove will also investigate setting up a rogue landlord database in the city and is considering plans to limit rent rises.

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