Rogue landlords who knowingly rent out unsafe accommodation are set to be penalised by the Isle of Wight Council.

Proposing a new civil penalty policy, the council would have the authority to fine wrongdoing parties up to £30,000.

With the Island having a rented sector nearly 17,000 households strong, the authority said it is aiming to support good landlords, avoiding unnecessary regulation and red tape but cracking down on those who knowingly rent out substandard accommodation.

A civil penalty can be issued as an alternative to prosecution when offences are committed under the Housing Act 2004, but the same criminal standard of proof is required.

The penalty could be used where there are failures to comply with improvement notices, offences in relation to licensing in houses of multiple occupation, and contravening an overcrowding notice.

Reviewing four recent cases the Isle of Wight Council's housing enforcement team had recently dealt with — including one landlord who had not fixed nine hazards in a home lived in by a family with three children — officers determined, reasonable civil penalties would have been around £10,000.

The money made from civil penalties, the council said, would likely create a sizeable income for housing enforcement purposes, with the potential to add more resources to regulate housing standards.

The council would choose how to prosecute those involved — either enforcing a civil penalty or through the magistrates' court — on a case-by-case basis.

The council will look at multiple factors including the severity of issues, the track record of the offender and whether there is an ability for them to continue the business.

The council's cabinet will decide whether or not to approve and adopt the civil penalties policy at its meeting on Monday.

The meeting was meant to be held on Thursday, October 14 but due to a positive covid case among cabinet members, it was postponed.