Rogue landlords face a crackdown after the government has announced it will hand out £5 million worth of funding to help councils take them on.
The funding will be shared out between 48 councils, so they can tackle irresponsible landlords who force tenants to live in squalid and dangerous accommodation.
The aim is to clamp down on tenants in some of the worst conditions, including ‘beds in sheds’, where tenants live in uninhabitable conditions. Local authorities will be able to carry out more raids, increase property inspections and demolish prohibited buildings.
Housing Minister Brandon Lewis says: “Many private rental tenants are happy with their home and the service they receive, but there are still rogue landlords that exploit vulnerable people and force their tenants to live in overcrowded and squalid accommodation.
“We are determined to tackle these rogues, which is why we are providing 48 councils with extra funding, so they can get rid of the cowboy operators in their area and bring an end to tenants living in miserable homes in the name of profit.
“We also want to raise the quality and choice of rental accommodation across the sector. The funding will ensure tenants know what level of service they can expect and have confidence to get help and take action if things go wrong.”
While 65 local authorities bid in November 2015 for a share of the £5 million, only 48 were successful – and 11 were in London. The biggest share of the funding will go to the London borough of Newham, which will receive £428,241, followed by Enfield with £360,000, and Brent with £295,000.
Commenting on the news, Karelia Scott-Daniels, managing director of Manse & Garret Property Search, says: “If this stops the ridiculous avalanche of red tape for good landlords, I applaud the government. Public funds are much better spent tackling the small proportion of rogue landlords individually than administering vast quantities of regulations which only the good landlords, also known as law-abiding individuals obey.”