FIVE councils including Thurrock are set to share £182,000 extra funding to crack down on rogue landlords, Housing Minister Heather Wheeler has announced today (14 January 2019).
Whilst the majority of landlords provide decent homes for their tenants, the cash boost 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.
Among the councils to benefit from the funding is Basildon Borough Council who will receive over £12,000 to develop an electronic evidence database for enforcement agencies to share intel.
Housing Minister Heather Wheeler MP said:
“Everyone across the South East 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 the 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 – 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.
Councils that receive funding will be encouraged to share best practice and examples of innovative approaches, to help improve enforcement in other areas.
This builds on ongoing government action to drive up standards in the private rented sector – ensuring millions of hard-working tenants can live in the homes they deserve and creating a housing market that works for everyone.