New funding will help councils in the UK take on the rogue landlords who make tenants’ lives a misery, Housing Minister Mark Prisk has announced. Councils will be able to bid for share of up to £3 million to tackle irresponsible landlords in their area, who allow their tenants to live in unsafe and squalid conditions, putting lives at risk and disrupting local communities.
The minister said that the majority of tenants are happy with their home and the service they receive, but the actions of a few rogue landlords are having a major impact on tenants’ and their neighbours’ lives. These unscrupulous landlords exploit vulnerable people, with reports suggesting that some work with gang masters to house illegal migrants. The poor quality, overcrowded and often dangerous accommodation they provide can result in noise problems, sanitation issues for whole streets, a greater fire risk, council tax and benefit fraud and anti social behaviour such as street drinking.
So councils will now be able to bid for this additional funding to boost their capacity to investigate and tackle rogue landlords, ensuring they can make the most of their power to prosecute. Prisk said the cash on offer today would build on the government’s ongoing success in tackling ‘beds in sheds’. Backed by £2.6 million government funding, more than 500 illegally rented outbuildings and overcrowded homes have been discovered since 2011 and action is now being taken against the owners.
Quote from PropertyForum.com : “House prices in England and Wales hit a record high in June but experts warn that it is London that is driving the increase and sales outside the South East are still low.”
To help councils match that success, the minister has expanded the role of the ‘beds in sheds’ taskforce to consider the best way to tackle rogue landlords. This cross government team will support successful councils as they work to take these illegal operators to task. ‘The majority of tenants are happy with their home and the service they receive, but there are still a minority of rogue landlords who exploit vulnerable people and force their tenants to live in overcrowded and squalid conditions,’ said Prisk. ‘It’s unacceptable that the lives of tenants and their neighbours are made a misery in the name of profit. That’s why today I’m offering councils a share of £3 million to take on the rogue operators in their area,’ he explained.
‘They will also have the backing of a cross government taskforce which will address the barriers councils face in tackling this issue, so together we can end the illegal exploitation of vulnerable tenants, and bring a better future to communities across the country,’ he added.