The government is hoping to improve standards in the private rented sector in Telford by handing £388,925 to Telford & Wrekin Council to help target rogue landlords and better protect tenants across the town.
The funding, which comes from the Better Homes For All package, is designed to boost conditions in the sector by enabling the council to conduct intelligence work to identify and target criminal landlords in the local area, and take enforcement action where necessary.
Better Homes For All, which was approved by Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet in February to improve housing in the private rented sector, includes a number of measures, one of which is the setting up of a new rogue landlord taskforce.
Additional officers will be made available for the council’s housing team to focus solely on private rented housing standards across the borough.
Cllr Lee Carter, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for finance, commercial services and economic development, said: “This bid from government will help us to transform the private rented sector in Telford and Wrekin by improving landlords’ and agents’ management of properties to ensure that accommodation is managed effectively; providing information to tenants on their rights and responsibilities; building a profile of landlords and agents operating poorly within borough; and tackling rogue landlords and associated criminal activity.
"It will help us in our journey towards securing better housing standards in the private rented sector.”
Cllr Richard Overton, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for housing and enforcement, added: “We welcome this funding for the new rogue landlords taskforce.
"By having these additional officers, we will have time and the ability to work more closely with the borough’s good landlords, letting agents and tenants, build intelligence on the rogues.
“When the poorly behaving landlords and letting agents have been identified, our officers will, firstly try to engage and educate, but will resort to enforcement when necessary.
“This increase in officers will allow us to build relationships by having the time to work with partner agencies such as West Mercia Police, Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service, Insolvency Service, HMRC, West Midlands UK Border Agency and the Gangmasters Licensing Authority to share information, knowledge and action plans.”