HOUSING minister Heather Wheeler MP has offered councils an extra £2 million to crack down on rogue landlords.
Councils will be able to bid for funding to help them step up enforcement action against the minority of bad landlords that break the law by providing inadequate or unsafe housing, often to people who are vulnerable to exploitation.
In addition to taking action against the rogues, the Ministery of Housing says the fund will help councils to develop and test innovative ways to “clamp down on squalid accommodation”.
“Everyone deserves to live in a home that is safe and secure, and it is vital we crack down on the small minority of landlords who are not giving their tenants this security,” said Wheeler.
“This funding will help further strengthen councils’ powers to tackle rogue landlords and ensure that poor-quality homes in their area are improved, making the housing market fairer for everyone.”
Local authorities already have strong powers to require landlords to make necessary improvements to a property and can use a range of measures, including fines and banning orders, to tackle rogue landlords.
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.
The money will also be used to encourage councils to share best practice of enforcement action and examples of innovative approaches that are self-sustaining and can be easily adapted to other parts of the country.