Councils to get extra £2.4m to crack down on rogue landlords
More than 50 councils across England are to share nearly £2.4m of extra funding to crack down on rogue landlords.
The government says that while most landlords provide decent homes for their tenants, the cash boost will enable local councils to step up action against the small minority who continue to flout the law and force vulnerable tenants such as young families to live in inadequate or unsafe housing.
There are 4.7 million households in the private rented sector in England, with recent statistics showing that 82% of private renters are satisfied with their accommodation.
The fund will help councils to take on the most common challenges that stand in the way of tackling poor standards, including:
- the need for better information - on housing stock and on landlords and agents operating in their areas
- data sharing between authorities and agencies – identifying and bringing together different data sets to enable better enforcement targeting
- internal ‘ways of working’ - improving housing-specific legal expertise, in-house communication between teams, and tools and strategies to effectively implement policy
- innovative software - for enforcement officers to record their findings, gather evidence and streamline the enforcement process.
Housing Minister Heather Wheeler MP said: “This extra funding will further boost councils’ ability to root out rogue landlords and ensure that poor-quality homes in the area are improved, making the housing market fairer for everyone.
“The government has already equipped local authorities with strong powers to tackle criminal landlords, ranging from fines to outright bans for the worst offenders.
“The new funding will be used to support a range of projects that councils have said will help them to ramp up action against criminal landlords – for example, to build relationships with external organisations such as the emergency services, legal services and local housing advocates.”
Councils may also decide to support tenants to take action against poor standards through rent repayment orders, or develop digital solutions, helping officers to report back and make decisions quicker.
Councils that receive funding will be encouraged to share best practice and examples of innovative approaches, to help improve enforcement in other areas.
Please contact Janice Young or Jonathan Carr if you would like advice about the legal aspects of commercial property and landlord and tenant issues.