Private landlords could be fined up to £30,000 if proposals for a new policy go ahead.

Allerdale council is asking people living in private rental accommodation and landlords to have their say on the plans.

Proposals include:

· Introducing civil penalties of up to £30,000 for any landlord who fails to comply with an improvement notice issued by the council for a defect in a property, as well as for any offences relating to overcrowding

· Use of rent repayment orders if the council is successful in imposing a civil penalty. These orders can require a landlord to repay rent back to the tenant or, in the case of rent through benefits, to the local authority

· Use of banning orders to prevent a person from letting a house in England or working in an English letting agency or property management company. Anyone with a banning order imposed on them will be entered onto a "rogue landlords" database from April 2018

· Requirement for anyone working in property management to be part of a scheme allowing tenants to complain and if required seek redress from the landlord. Any landlord who fails to comply could face a fine of up to £5,000

· New powers to prevent housing with poor energy efficiency ratings being rented out as well as the requirement to improve safety through the installation of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Failure to comply could result in fines of up to £5,000

Councillor Carni McCarron-Holmes, executive member with responsibility for housing said: "No-one should have to live in a house which is bad for their health or dangerous. Thankfully we have some very good landlords in this area. However, I urge everyone to have their say in this consultation on these draft policies so that we can get the right measures in place to deal with the ones who don't take their responsibilities seriously."

The council's Housing Stock Condition Survey carried out in 2016 indicated that some 21 per cent of private rented accommodation suffered from what is known as a Category One Hazard which can include things like inadequate heating or unsafe stairs. Particular areas of concern were in Keswick and north Allerdale.

The draft policies can be viewed at and people have until the end of the month to have their say.