Criminal landlords need to watch out – councils are to be given £4 million from the government specifically to target them.
Rogue landlords can be a real nightmare for tenants. They often provide housing in inadequate or even unsafe conditions, causing stress and discomfort for the tenants. Fortunately, they are a minority, and the majority of landlords are responsible and law-abiding.
But the government recognises that rogue landlords need to be dealt with, and the extra funding is a step in the right direction.
Money to Be Used for a Range of Initiatives
The announcement was made recently by the government, and over 100 councils in England are going to be given a share of £4 million for a range of projects aimed at taking on rogue landlords.
So how will they use it?
The money is to be used for various trials across the country. Some councils are planning to trial new smart technology so that tenants can report their landlords with greater ease, such as by using a smartphone app or even an automated system that tenants can use to make complaints.
In Greenwich, new technology will be trialled that will help to identify cold homes so those who are suffering from the cold can receive attention.
Some of the funding will go towards getting vulnerable young people who are renting property to move into safe homes, which will be trialled in Thurrock.
A Special Operations Unit will also be created in Northampton to take action against the worst landlords. And money will also be used to train enforcement officers.
Commitment to Tackling Rogue landlords
Rogue landlords have long been a problem. While the majority of landlords are responsible, there will always be a few bad apples.
At the moment, councils have powers they can take against landlords, such as forcing them to make improvements to their properties. But the announcement of extra funding shows that the government is committed to punishing criminal landlords and protecting tenants, while helping the good landlords.
This is in addition to the end of no-fault evictions, which was pledged by the Conservatives in the recent election, so landlords cannot remove tenants unless they have a good reason.
Is It Enough?
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said that it is “unacceptable” that some “unscrupulous landlords continue to break the law”, and that the extra funding will help to tackle these landlords.
But critics have said the money is not enough. The Shadow Housing Secretary, John Healey, said the fund was not enough. As did David Smith from the Residential Landlords Association, who said it was “nowhere near enough” and suggested it is better to provide funding over many years so that councils can better plan their strategies and really take on problem landlords.