Councils handed £4m to tackle rogue landlords

Councils have been given £4m to help tackle the problem of rogue landlords. The funds will be used to target landlords that force their tenants to live in squalid or overcrowded properties, and to penalise those that do not keep their properties maintained to the necessary standards.

Housing Minister Kris Hopkins 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 funding is the latest move in the government’s campaign to improve housing conditions for people in rented properties. They also want to create a level playing field so that the majority of landlords who abide by the rules are not put at a disadvantage.

Earlier this year, new legislation was passed that enabled courts to consider a landlord’s assets, as well as income, when levying fines.
A redress scheme for property management issues is currently being been set up. It means letting agents will have to join an approved redress scheme so tenants have somewhere to turn to if they feel they are being treated unfairly.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors has also agreed to help develop a voluntary code of practice, so tenants are aware of what level of service they should expect from their landlord.
Please contact Ingrid Hindle in our Warminster office on 01985 214444, or Sarah Gratton in Westbury on 01373 865577, or email ihindle@mulaw.co.uk or sgratton@mulaw.co.uk if you would like more information about the commercial property, and landlord and tenant issues.