10. Legal aid impact test
Local authorities will be able to issue a civil fine against owners who do not comply with the regulations, and can pursue this through the courts if the owner does not pay. Owners will also be able to ask for a review of local authority decisions to issue a penalty notice and will ultimately be able to appeal to the courts.
We have proposed that there will be a maximum financial penalty of £5,000 for non-compliance. Most of the required improvements will cost less than this. We therefore think that this will encourage the majority of landlords to improve their property rather than risk a fine, which would minimise the likelihood of appeals to the courts by landlords.
We have sought advice from the Legal Aid Board. They consider the potential for receiving applications from private landlords to challenge a fine imposed by the local authority to be limited. They therefore do not think it is likely that there will be a significant impact on the legal aid fund from tenants or landlords.
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