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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Almost £2.4m for councils to crack down on rogue landlords

Close to £2.4m of additional funding designed to clampdown on unscrupulous landlords will be made available for more than 50 councils across the country to share, the housing minister Heather Wheeler announced yesterday.

The government accepts that the vast majority of landlords provide decent homes for their tenants, but it insists that the funds will enable local councils to step up action against the small minority who continue to flout the law and force vulnerable tenants such as young families to live in inadequate or unsafe housing.

Various councils will benefit from the funding, including Walsall, which will look to improve cross-agency enforcement work, including the innovative use of drones and thermal mapping to identify problem properties.

Lancaster plans to create a training programme for existing enforcement staff across the Lancashire region.

Meanwhile, the Greater London Authority (GLA) and Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) have been allocated over £330,000 between them to carry out coordinated work to tackle rogue landlords who operate across multiple local authorities in their regions.

Wheeler commented: “Everyone has the right 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.

“This extra funding will further boost councils’ ability to root out rogue landlords and ensure that poor-quality homes in the area are improved, making the housing market fairer for everyone.”

The government has already equipped local authorities with strong powers to tackle criminal landlords, ranging from fines to outright bans for the worst offenders.

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.

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.

Councils that receive funding will be encouraged to share best practice and examples of innovative approaches, to help improve enforcement in other areas.

Cllr Judith Blake, housing spokesman for the Local Government Association, said: “The vast majority of landlords are responsible and provide decent housing for their tenants, however the reputations of that majority are being tarnished by the small minority of landlords who exploit loopholes with no regard to their responsibilities.

“Councils want to support a good quality local private rented offer in their communities, but can be held back by significant funding pressures and uncertainty. It is therefore good that the Government has announced a funding boost for councils to help ensure the small minority of rogue landlords improve standards.

“We ask that the government now follows this announcement by granting more freedom for councils to establish local licensing schemes.”

Poll: Do you think the extra funding will further boost councils’ ability to root out rogue landlords?

PLACE YOUR VOTE BELOW

  • John Cart

    Training staff.... are they having a laugh. These people are already in the jobs, they should be fully trained and able to do the job they're paid handsomely to do. Funny thing is I had to pay for my own training for Right to Rent...….where was my Govt handout????

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    Likewise for the Rent Smart Wales debacle.
    Unfortunately, the system is not working as they are not actively chasing rogue landlords.
    As usual, the only ones put out by it are the genuine landlords who actually declare their income and are therefore 'on the radar' so to speak.

     
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    This boils down to the old joke, ''the council worker leaning on his shovel '', council employees look to do the least amount of work for the most pay, hence the job not getting done.

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    Will the princely sum of £48,000 really do all that our esteemed elected dictators think it will?
    How about a similar scheme to chase down rogue tenants?

  • Paul Barrett

    There is already a free gokd and bad tenant register.
    If every LL used it ir would somve the rogue tenant problem
    LRS has bern going about 10 years now.
    LL just have to use the facility!

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    Nottingham City Council's new Selective Licensing has raised £25m employing over 80 staff to tackle rogue landlords - it was overwhelmingly rejected in their consultation because they had no proper data to back up their claims.. but they went ahead anyway. This was on top of there other licensing schemes. To date no rogue has been held to account by the scheme and rents have risen for tenants as a result. £2.4m shared is just token cash.

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    Like every other council in the UK, them being the biggest landlords, they should look at themselves first!!

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    What about a similar scheme to chase down rogue tenants and tenants illegally sub-letting especially in council estates?
    Of course not, silly me.

  • Paul Barrett

    As is well known to all Socialist Labour Councils Council tenants are as pure as driven snow.
    They always fully comply with the exact conditions of their tenancy agreements.
    It is the nasty greedy private LL that cause all the problems which is why social housing providers are largely excluded from ths majority of Housing legislation.
    A shame really as perhaps Grenfell may not have happened.
    Of course nobody is prepared to mention the illegal sub -letting and illegal occupancy that went on at Grenfell!!!
    Wonder why not!!!???
    There is a vast amount of illegality in the private and social housing sector.
    Practically every AirBnB letting is lllegal
    Lots of accidental LL are letting in breach of their resi mortgage and insurance conditions; about 300000 of them actualky.
    There are about 2 million illegal immigrants renting somewhere so somebody isn't complying with the RTR regulations!!
    Personally I believe that every single legal tenant should be required to have a Tenant Passport.
    This would be their reference and would have all the details of the tenancies etc they have ever had.
    It would include all past CCJ for rent defaults etc.
    The LL would effectively have a tenant history which would enable the LL to rent correctly.
    I also believe that every LL should be required to give to the tenant proof that they have the right to let the property etc.
    Just doing this would result in about 2 million homeless which is why clamping down on illegal letting will NEVER occur!!!

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    Here in Wales we have a registered landlord card, but it obviously doesn't have any effect on rogue landlords who are not registered.
    The agents are also liable if they assist any landlord that's not registered with RSW.
    It probably cuts down a little on illegal letting, but the one's it is designed to punish are in the main unlikely to comply, because it would 'open a large can of worms' for them with the HMRC etc.

    Paul Barrett

    Of course one of the major issues is that the banks don't want to know about illegal letting etc.
    They would be obligated to call in their loans.
    There would be millions of properties subject to this..
    So many loans called in would cause a collapse in property prices; mass bankruptcies, millions of homeless, a run on the banks as their capital position rapidly deteriorated causing a mass reduction in lending.
    It would make the CC as almost nothing had occurred.
    That is why nothing will be done about illegal letting.
    Sleeping dogs will be left to lie.
    Lenders don't wish to know what is actually going on; as long as this is the case lenders can maintain plausibility that everything is OK when in reality everyone knows what is going on but dare only pay lipservice to preventing illegal tenancies.

     
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