Councils across the country will receive a £4 million Christmas cash boost to tackle rogue landlords in their area, housing minister Kris Hopkins announced yesterday.
Twenty three councils will share the funding so they can take on what the Government refers to as the “unscrupulous Scrooges”: landlords that force their tenants to live in squalid and dangerous properties, making their lives a misery.
The cash will enable councils to build on their work to root out “beds in sheds”. Since 2011 more than 500 of these illegally-rented outhouses have been discovered and action taken against the owners, while nine councils have already received £2.6 million to tackle the problem.
Hopkins said the funding is part of a package of measures that will ensure millions of tenants get a better deal when they rent a home.
He said: “The majority of tenants are happy with their home, but the private rental market is still afflicted by too many ‘unscrupulous Scrooges’: miserly landlords who rent dangerous, dirty and overcrowded properties without a thought for the welfare of their tenants.
“That’s why we’re providing 23 councils with extra funding, so they can root out the cowboys and rogue operators in their area, and consign these scenes of Dickensian destitution to where they belong: the history books.
“We also want to raise the quality and choice of rental accommodation across the whole sector. Today’s measures will continue our progress, ensuring tenants know what level of service they can expect and, if things do go wrong, giving them the confidence to get help and take action.”
The new funding to tackle rogue landlords is part of an ambitious package of proposals to help renters. The package includes new rules about letting agents’ fees and tenants’ right to request long-term rental deals.
The 23 councils across the country that will receive funding to help tackle rogue landlords are: Barnsley, Blackpool, Bolton, Boston, Bournemouth, Croydon, Derby, Fenland, Hastings, Herefordshire, Hounslow, Lambeth, Leeds, Lewisham, Medway, Newham, Nottingham, Oxford, Pennine Lancashire, Plymouth, Rochdale, Rossendale, Sheffield.