Landlords and building owners who do not take care of unused units could see unlimited fines under new laws, granting greater power to local authorities in an effort to regenerate high streets.
The new laws come as part of the Conservative Government’s Anti-social Behaviour Action Plan, designed to crack down on various issues which are leading to increased levels of social depravity in vulnerable areas.
The Government will consider changes to the guidance for Section 215 notices, which local authorities can use to ensure that building owners and occupiers are looking after their land and units, so that notices can be placed on empty buildings which are “ruining the local amenity”.
The upper limit for fines for those who fail to comply with Section 215 notices will also be removed, in the hopes of encouraging building owners to fix buildings which could encourage anti-social behaviour.
The Government will also launch the Landlord and Tenant Act Review looking to reform “complex commercial leasing rules” in the hopes of encouraging more investment in UK commercial property.
The Government said: “We know that the high street is going through a period of significant change, and that such change brings both risk and opportunity. The actions that we will deliver through this plan will provide additional tools and support for local leaders so that our high streets not only survive, but flourish. By helping local authorities tackle persistent and long-term vacancy, we will see more opportunities for local businesses and communities to rent and own property on the high street, helping to transform empty and derelict buildings into thriving hubs of activity.”