IMPROVED housing standards for tenants of private landlords will be one of the many outcomes of a new programme of engagement with North Kesteven District Council.
Public and partners will have the chance to feed back through consultation on a new strategy detailing a series of actions to promote access to the private-rented sector for those in housing need and ensure proper housing conditions for all.
There are specific issues relating to energy efficiency of private sector housing in North Kesteven, which the strategy suggests as a priority area for focussed work with landlords.
Through closer co-operation with the District Council, private sector housing landlords would be supported in raising the standards of, and maintaining the quality of, private rented accommodation.
This would be through a series of countywide landlord forums, a countywide website with electronic newsletters, further development of initiatives such as landlord and tenant accreditation and a local letting agency service.
Landlords in North Kesteven should be clear that when they fail to engage and put right defects in the homes they let, the Council will take a tough stance on enforcing housing standards.
Failure to comply with an enforcement notice served by the council is an offence with a maximum fine on prosecution of £5,000.
Councillor Stewart Ogden, Executive Board Member with responsibility for housing said: "We recognise how important private rented homes are to accommodate the growing population in the district.
"This is why we help landlords to understand their legal responsibilities and ensure their homes meet minimum standards. If standards fall below what is expected and are not resolved amicably then we will use our powers to intervene.
"With the district council offering a range of services to support landlords, it is not acceptable to put tenants at risk of poor health from living in substandard housing conditions."
Landlords can sign up to receive electronic newsletters and notification of landlords forums by following links on the Council's website at www.n-kesteven.gov.uk or contact the Council's Housing Renewal Team on 01529 414155.
Tenants who wish to report housing defects that their landlord has failed to resolve can contact the Council's Housing Renewal Team on 01529 414155. Further details at www.n-kesteven.gov.uk