Housing minister Heather Wheeler has opened government purse strings to give 50 councils an extra £2.4 million to tackle rogue landlords.
The money is earmarked to pay for extra staff to root out bad landlords and for developing digital tools to track them down.
The minister argues that a minority of landlords flout housing laws and make money by forcing vulnerable tenants to live in unsafe or inadequate homes.
Councils benefitting from the cash boost include:
- Walsall, West Midlands – Money will fund a project to develop drones and thermal mapping to identify suspected problem homes
- Lancaster – Cash for extra training across the county
- London and Manchester will share £330,000 to come up with projects to tackle bad landlords with homes in more than one council area.
The minister said:
“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 says less than a fifth of tenants (18%) in 4.7 million private rented homes are dissatisfied with their accommodation.
“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,” said a housing spokesman.
“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.”
I get sick of this blind and biased attitude, never mind bad landlords!
what about spending government moneys (our taxes) on bad tenants, there are thousands of those.
It would more appropriate to spend this money in helping good Landlords improve their properties or build social housing. Whatever is done, you will never eradicate bad Landlords. Authorities need to be positive towards Landlords and then the renting public will be more positive which will help everyone.
I agree wholeheartedly with the comments by James and Neil, it is about time that the Government realised the “damage” that rogue tenants are doing to Landlords business decisions in regard to who they let properties to, which is why so many Landlords are switching to the private sector (far less “problematic”).
As with “Rogue Landlords”, “Rogue Tenants” are a problem that need to be addressed, however both will certainly continue to exist much to the detriment of potentially good tenants and decent and good Landlords – despite the ever increasing levels of bureaucracy and red tape – all in the name of eradicating “Rogue Landlords”.
Ministers etc who make such decisions need to “get out into the community” – not just fleeting visits – in order to fully understand the problems, instead of relying on academics who have “undertaken research”.
Rogue Lanlords and Rogue Tenants are not precisely defined and so are subjective labels. Ideally specific activities need to be defined so that the activities are dissuaded from happening. The Deposit Protection Service is well placed to monitor these activities and should be empowered to reduce the rogue activities.
Egs: DPS should be able to force deposits to be taken, even if this is £1. This would eradicate non-refundable fees and improve the coverage of landlord/tenant relationships.
If a landlord is overcrowding properties then this would be evident from the rooms per property and number of tenants defined in the AST and recorded at the DPS.
Tenants who trash properties could have the deposit for the next property inflated by the DPS or even the re-instatement value, not covered by the last deposit, held-over and spread across the term of the new AST as a levy on the new rent. The levy is passed on to the previous landlord. This could also apply to unpaid rent.
Any disagreements between landlords and tenants would be resolved via the current DPS resolution service. This would also reduce the pressure on law courts.
Prospective landlords, agents and tenants should be able to access DPS statistics on the other party’s past performance. This will then forewarn tenants of prospective landlords that act in a rogue fashion in terms of whatever statistics are available eg higher than average rents for the postcode, over population of rooms, deposit never returned , abusive behaviour, unwanted attention, hiking the rent too much too often etc.
Similarly landlords have statistics on prospective tenant activity such as deposits not returned (ie due to damage to property etc), rent not paid, leaving without notice, drug use, always having mould issues, ant/social behaviour etc.