Rogue landlords receive in the region of £2.5bn a year for renting out ‘non-decent’ properties, which includes homes that are unsafe, do not meet basic health and safety standards, in serious disrepair and infested with vermin, according to the Independent.
The report claims that unscrupulous landlords stand to receive more than £12bn in housing benefit over the next five years, as the housings shortage leaves many renters with no alternative but to accept properties that are in a poor state of repair.
The Independent revealed last month that almost a third of private rented homes in England, totalling 1.4 million properties, are currently substandard, while 17% contain the most dangerous type of safety hazard.
Commenting on the figures, shadow housing secretary John Healey, who uncovered the latest figures in conjunction with the independent House of Commons Library, said: “The number of families renting from a private landlord has soared by more than a million since 2010, but decisions made by Conservative ministers have made it easier for a minority of bad landlords to fleece the system.
“Most landlords provide decent homes that tenants are happy with, but these rogue landlords are ripping off renters and taxpayers alike by making billions from housing benefit on substandard homes.
“Theresa May declared the ‘housing market is broken’, but Tory ministers won’t act to make the market fairer or work better for private renters. After seven years of failure, the Conservatives have no plan to fix the housing crisis.
“The next Labour government would call time on bad landlords and bring in a New Deal for private renters to establish new consumer rights.”