Agenda item

New Legislative Responsibilities for Enforcement (Agenda Item 11)

Report by Charles Carter, Executive Member for Growth.

Minutes:

The Executive Member for Growth presented the report which set out the Council’s legislative requirements with regard to enforcement.  He noted that Tim Mills, Interim Housing Manager would be leaving on 30 September 2015 and thanked him for the work he had done and the projects he had managed during his short time with the Council.

 

OPTIONS

 

The Council had responsibilities within the three pieces of legislation.  It had discretion to:

 

1.     Vary the fine under the Redress Scheme;

2.     Determine whether and when to use its powers under the Control of Horses Act; and

3.     To set and recover a penalty charge where there was a breach of Carbon Monoxide regulations.

 

REASONS

 

1.     Delegation needs to be given to Officers to undertake the enforcement activity. For operational reasons it is suggested this be to the Housing Service Manager, Principal Housing Officer and Private Sector Housing Team Leader or their equivalent in future.

 

2.     The Redress Scheme legislation is aimed at agents and property managers who it is reasonable to expect will have the capability to comply with the legislation. It is therefore unlikely that circumstances would arise where the Council would wish to exercise discretion to reduce the fine. However it is considered prudent to provide the ability to the enforcing officers in exceptional circumstances.

 

3.     The Control of Horses legislation provides a power not a duty on the Council. The retention and disposal of one or more horses could be a significant resource burden both in terms of personnel and finance for Breckland DC. As owners and occupiers of public land have a similar power to the District Council it is considered that it is reasonable to expect those responsible for the land to deal with issues arising upon it. This is in line with other environmental legislation. It is proposed that Breckland District Council would only consider using this power where there is land in a public place where no ownership can be established and to land in the Councils ownership and/or occupation.

 

4.     Unlike the Redress Scheme under the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide regulations there appears to be an expectation that the appropriate penalty charge may differ depending on the circumstances of the case. It is therefore not possible to define specifically the fine which should be applied. It is therefore proposed that the authority to set and recover a penalty charge should be delegated to the Housing Services Manager, Principal Housing Officer and Private Sector Housing Team Leader or their equivalent in future in consultation with the Council’s Legal Officer(s) and in accordance with the Council’s Enforcement Policy

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1.     the Council delegate to the Housing Manager, Principal Housing Officer and Private Sector Team Leader authority to enforce the following legislation:
a)         The Redress Schemes for Lettings Agency Work and Property
            Management Work (Requirement to belong to a Scheme etc.)
            (England) Order 2014
b)         Control of Horses Act 
c)         Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015;

2.     the fine to be levied for failure to comply with the Redress Scheme requirements be set at £5000;

3.     the Council only exercise its powers under the Control of Horses legislation where it owns the land or there is no identifiable owner of the land; and

4.     authority to set and recover a penalty charge under the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 is delegated to the Housing Manager and Principal Housing Officer in consultation with the Council.

Supporting documents: