More funding to help crack down on criminal landlords

4 Nov 2019 02:07 PM

Additional £4 million funding for councils to tackle criminal landlords.

Councils across the country will be able to access almost £4 million in new funding, as part of a crackdown on criminal landlords, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick yesterday (4 November 2019) announced.

This will support councils who can bid for a slice of funding to step up enforcement action against landlords who break the law and provide inadequate service to their tenants.

Even though most landlords provide quality homes for their tenants, a small minority continue to break the law and offer inadequate or unsafe housing, leaving young families and vulnerable people feeling trapped.

The funding will be used to allow good landlords to thrive, helping  millions of hard-working tenants renting privately get the homes they deserve, ensuring that those who follow the rules are not unfairly disadvantaged and creating a housing market that works for everyone.

This is the second year of this pioneering fund. Last year over £2 million of funding was shared amongst 56 projects – this reached 100 councils which together are home to over a million households living in the private rented sector.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick yesterday said:

It’s unacceptable that a small minority of unscrupulous landlords appear to be breaking the law and providing homes which fall short of the standards that tenants rightly expect.

Everyone deserves to live in a home that is safe and secure, and the funding announced today will help to further strengthen councils’ powers to crack down on criminal landlords and drive up standards in the private rented sector.

We have given local authorities strong powers to force landlords to make necessary improvements to a property. They can use a range of measures, including fines and banning orders, to tackle criminal landlords.

This funding helps councils to capitalise on their strengthened powers, last year being used to train hundreds of inspection officers and create new technologies to make sure inspectors spend their time taking action to improve the sector, not stuck behind a desk.

Last year the funding helped councils uncover hundreds of poor-quality homes and ensured that vulnerable tenants know they will be supported.

For example, last year, Burnley received over £60,000 to carry out proactive inspections of rented homes in the area, allowing them to reach vulnerable tenants who are less likely to report a problem to their council. 

The council found and fixed over 100 hazards across the properties they inspected. In some cases the funding helped tenants who were trapped in properties which posted a serious risk to their safety – meaning they could be rehoused in quality accommodation.

We want to support a thriving private rented sector across the country. Through the funding announced yesterday will want to encourage councils to share best practice of enforcement action and examples of inventive approaches that can be adopted in councils nationwide to drive quality and stamp out bad landlords.

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