THOUSANDS of tenants will be better protected thanks to new enforcement powers to tackle rogue landlords.

Pendle Council is set to take advantage of national legislation allowing civil penalties without a need for court action.

Cllr Asjad Mahmood, who leads on housing, said: “Pendle has 7,000 rented properties owned by private landlords and whilst there are many good landlords there are some rogue landlords who are letting their tenants down.

“We can now give civil penalties for a range of offences which badly affect people’s quality of life, without the lengthy process of taking landlords to court.”

Offences include failure to comply with an improvement notice and contravening an overcrowding notice.

The Housing and Planning Act , which became law in April, introduced fines of up to £30,000.

Pendle's policy is set to be formally ratified by the council in October.