Complaints against Landlords are on the rise in Aylesbury Vale, figures show

Complaints against landlords in Aylesbury have reached a three year high, a freedom of Information request has revealed.
Complaints against landlords in Aylesbury have reached a three year high, a freedom of Information request has revealed.

Complaints against landlords in Aylesbury have reached a three year high, a freedom of Information request has revealed.

Complaints are split into several categories; amenities, conditions, damp, disrepair and suspected houses of multiple occupation (HMO).

The majority of the complains relate to disrepair and suspected housing of multiple occupation.

Complaints against landlords peaked in 2016, with 95 made in 2016. This included 48 relating to suspected houses of multiple occupation.

The numbers dipped slightly in 2017, with 70 made. This included 31 relating to suspected houses of multiple occupation.

Complaints once again rose last year, with 83 made.

But astonishingly, out of 330 complaints made about landlords, there have only been two prosecutions since 2015.

The first case, in 2015 was a suspected unlicensed house of multiple occupation, with failures to comply with fire safety, with overcrowding and a breach of management regulations. The landlord was fined £18,000.

The second, in 2016 was again a house of multiple occupation, and a breach of management regulations.

In April 2017 the Government gave them the power to take action against rogue landlords who flouted the rules by prosecuting them.

At the time, housing and planning minister Gavin Barwell said: “These measures will give councils the additional powers they need to tackle poor-quality rental homes in their area.

"By driving out of business those rogue landlords that continue to flout the rules, we can raise standards, improve affordability and give tenants the protections they need.”

Lucy Eaves, Aylesbury Vale District Council's Enforcement Team Manager, said:

"We investigate all housing complaints that are raised to us. Our first step is always to work with the tenant and landlord to see if the complaint can be resolved without recourse to formal action. In the vast majority of cases, complaints are successfully resolved in this manner.

"However, in the most serious cases, we will use the full extent of our powers under the current legislation, including prohibiting premises from occupation, rent repayment orders and prosecution.

"We'd encourage tenants who have complaints about maintenance of properties they're renting to go to www.aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk/problems-your-landlord and complete the online form with details of the problem.

"If residents have concerns about potential houses in multiple occupation, these can be reported to us at envhealth@aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk. All complaints to us will be fully investigated."