Rogue Landlords, Who Should Set Their Fines?gary
I see the Local Government Association (LGA) have proposed that Rogue Landlords be fined a minimum of £30,000 for renting sub-standard homes. Now I’ve read the statistics and also seen harrowing cases which would on an individual basis easily justify this policy. However, if you drill down to the small print what they are actually asking for according to a statement from an LGA housing spokesman is “We need to see these rules relaxed and councils given more freedom and flexibility in establishing schemes”. The problem being that for all the merit and good intentions in the proposal, history would suggest that giving councils Carte Blanche to impose financial penalties rather than using clearly defined guidelines doesn’t usually end well. This is not least because the people imposing the financial penalties are the people dealing with the issue. “Nothing wrong with that” would seem to be a fair reaction to this situation but in reality, this brings all sorts of random influences in to the calculation of what level the fine should be.
Mr “A” was obstructive and rude to the council staff he spoke to, Mr “B” was 18 weeks behind with his rates payments, just another factor to illustrate how badly his properties were managed and he needs to be taught a lesson!
Two obviously exaggerated (I hope) examples, but they do give you an idea of the type of problems which can be caused when people, possibly highly intelligent and extremely well qualified in their own specialities are allowed to make critical choices in areas where they could so easily be biased.