Audit, Inspection and Safety

03.01.20

£4m funding to crack down on criminal landlords

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP has announced today (3 Jan) that over 100 councils across England have been presented with a share of over £4 million to crack down on criminal landlords and letting agents.

Despite the majority of landlords providing decent homes for their tenants a small majority continue to break the law, making tenants’ lives a misery by offering inadequate or unsafe housing.

The new funding will be used by councils to take appropriate action against these landlords, and advise tenants of their housing rights.

This will further the government’s continued work to make the private rented sector just and stamp out criminal practices for good.

Councils already have strong powers to force landlords to make necessary improvements to a property through use of a range of measures, including banning orders for the worst offenders and civil penalties.

The grant will provide support for a number of projects to enable councils to make the best use of these powers. This will include trialing innovative ideas, sharing best practice and targeted enforcement where know landlords shirk their responsibilities.

Among the councils to benefit from the funding are:

  • 21 councils across Yorkshire and Humberside – to train over 100 enforcement officers across the region to make sure standards are being met by landlords
  • Northampton – to create a ‘Special Operations Unit’ to enforce against the very worst landlords responsible for over 100 homes in the town
  • Thurrock – to work with the care service to ensure the most vulnerable young tenants are in decent, well-maintained homes
  • Greenwich – to trail new technology to identify particularly cold homes to ensure renters are warm over the winter period

Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said: “This government will deliver a better deal for renters. It’s completely unacceptable that a minority of unscrupulous landlords continue to break the law and provide homes which fall short of the standards we rightly expect - making lives difficult for hard-working tenants who just want to get on with their lives.

“Everyone deserves to live in a home that is safe and secure and the funding announced today will strengthen councils’ powers to crack down on poor landlords and drive up standards in the private rented sector for renters across the country.”

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