Councils get government backing to take on rogue landlords

Robert Jenrick

Councils across the region are to get a share of £280,000 to help tackle the issue of criminal landlords.

A small minority of landlords persist in breaking the law, making tenants’ lives a misery by offering inadequate or unsafe housing.

The funding will be used by councils to take enforcement action against these landlords and advise tenants of their housing rights.

The aim is to make the private rented sector fairer and stamp out criminal practices for good.

Among the councils in the North West to benefit from the funding are:

• Liverpool – to work with the Children’s Centre to identify private rented sector properties which may have cockroach infections
• Cheshire – to provide training to officers and target enforcement activity to unlicensed Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

Housing Secretary  Robert Jenrick  said: “This Government will deliver a better deal for renters.

“It’s completely unacceptable that a minority of unscrupulous landlords continue to break the law and provide homes which fall short of the standards we rightly expect – making lives difficult for hard-working tenants who just want to get on with their lives.

“Everyone deserves to live in a home that is safe and secure and the funding announced today for the North West will strengthen councils’ powers to crack down on poor landlords and drive up standards in the private rented sector for renters across the country.”

Councils already have strong powers to force landlords to make necessary improvements to a property through use of a range of measures, including civil penalties and banning orders for the worst offenders.

The grants will support a range of projects to enable councils to make the best use of these powers. This will include trialling innovative ideas, sharing best practice and targeted enforcement where we know landlords shirk their responsibilities.

• The councils receiving funding today are:
– Blackpool Council
– Burnley Borough Council
– Cheshire East Borough Council
– Lancaster City Council
– Liverpool City Council
– Rossendale Borough Council
– South Ribble Borough Council
– St Helens Council