Landlords who fail to ensure their private rented homes meet required standards now face increased charges.

In December 2023 Bath & North East Somerset Council increased the fee for the service of a formal Improvement Notice from £250 to £400. It was part of an update to its Housing Services Charging Policy, which charges fees to recover the reasonable costs of providing a range of enforcement, licensing, housing register and homelessness services.

The fee is charged when the Council’s Housing Services team issues an Improvement Notice to address health and safety hazards in houses or flats. These could be property defects, such as absent or defective fire precautions, inadequate heating and insulation, or severe damp and mould.

Councillor Matt McCabe, cabinet member for Built Environment and Sustainable Development, said: “The majority of landlords run their properties responsibly, but the standard of rented homes across B&NES is inconsistent. Our Housing Services Team work hard to ensure that landlords act responsibly and renters have a safe and secure home. We follow government guidance on setting the fees at a level that ensures the council recovers reasonable costs including the cost of taking enforcement action if necessary and for any staff time and expenses incurred.”

Other charges that have been increased include the fee for an HMO licence, which has risen from £795 to £995; and certain fees charged to Registered Providers for the marketing and delivery of affordable homes.

Full details of the Housing Services Charging Policy can be found on the council website.