Councils have a chance to grab a stake in £4 million of extra government funding to fight rogue landlords.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick wants councils to spend the cash on catching private landlords who are breaking the law by providing unsafe homes.

He released the purse strings to double down on a similar £2 million spend last year that was shared among 56 enforcement projects by more than 100 councils.

“It’s unacceptable that a small minority of unscrupulous landlords appear to be breaking the law and providing homes which fall short of the standards that tenants rightly expect,” he said.

“Everyone deserves to live in a home that is safe and secure, and the funding announced today will help to further strengthen councils’ powers to crack down on criminal landlords and drive up standards in the private rented sector.

“We have given local authorities strong powers to force landlords to make necessary improvements to a property. They can use a range of measures, including fines and banning orders, to tackle criminal landlords.

“This funding helps councils to capitalise on their strengthened powers, last year being used to train hundreds of inspection officers and create new technologies to make sure inspectors spend their time taking action to improve the sector, not stuck behind a desk.”

The housing secretary explained last year’s money helped councils uncover hundreds of poor homes.

“Last year, the council in Burnley received over £60,000 to carry out proactive inspections of rented homes in the area, allowing them to reach vulnerable tenants who are less likely to report a problem,” said Jenrick.

“The council found and fixed over 100 hazards across the properties they inspected. In some cases the funding helped tenants who were trapped in properties which posted a serious risk to their safety.”