Luton Borough Council has launched a new initiative which aims to tackle rogue landlords who are letting properties that are being poorly managed or are unsafe.
The initiative has been developed in partnership with the Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Service, the Luton Law Centre and the Luton Citizens Advice Bureau.
The message is that this issue will not be tolerated and offending landlords will be caught.
The project is particularly focused on:
- Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)
- ‘Beds in sheds’ – sub-standard premises being used as living accommodation without the relevant permissions
- Empty homes – the council wants to bring these properties back into use to provide people with accommodation.
In recent months, 18 landlords have been prosecuted by the council or served with prohibition orders many resulting in large fines and criminal records. Beds in sheds and HMOs have been emptied and a number of investigations are ongoing.
Cllr Tom Shaw, portfolio holder for housing at Luton Borough Council, said: “The Rogue Landlord Project is an integral part of ensuring that private housing in Luton is of a good standard. It is an important part of our enforcement policy and will help ensure that properties in Luton are safe and maintained to a good standard. If a HMO is poorly managed, tenant’s safety could be at risk.
"We are committed to ensuring that rogue landlords are identified and are made to improve the property or face prosecution. I would encourage tenants or neighbours who suspect a landlord is not adhering to the rules to get in touch with us.”