Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: Yes
The council has a statutory duty to take action to improve unsafe private sector homes in the Thanet area, and in pursuance of that duty it undertakes a range of enforcement activities. Owing to recent legislative changes, the council now has the power to impose a financial (civil) penalty of up to £30,000 as an alternative to prosecution for certain housing offences. However, before the council can issue financial penalties for such offences, it must first have an adopted policy in accordance with statutory guidance issued by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
Cabinet agreed the following:
1. To approve the adoption of the proposed “Policy for imposing financial penalties under the Housing Act 2004 and Housing and Planning Act 2016” annexed to the Cabinet report.
2. To delegate authority to the Head of Housing and Planning, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods, to approve minor amendments to the policy.
All local housing authorities are expected to adopt a policy that will allow them to impose financial penalties as an alternative to prosecution for certain housing offences. Having an adopted policy increases the enforcement options available to the council and will help deter those with responsibility for private sector housing from committing housing offences. Furthermore, the ability to retain the financial penalties collected will help fund future housing enforcement activities, which will ultimately contribute to safer housing in Thanet.
The option to not adopt a policy was rejected on the basis that such a decision would deprive the council of a valuable enforcement capability.
Report author: Richard Hopkins
Publication date: 19/03/2019
Date of decision: 14/03/2019
Decided at meeting: 14/03/2019 - Cabinet
Effective from: 27/03/2019