Newcastle and Middlesbrough councils are among 48 councils across the UK to receive a £5m cash boost to tackle rogue landlords in their area, Housing Minister Brandon Lewis announced today.
Forty eight councils will share the funding so they can take on the irresponsible landlords that force tenants to live in squalid and dangerous properties, making their lives a misery.
Newcastle will receive £70,000 from the share and Middlesbrough £100,000.
From February 1, landlords will have to carry out Right to Rent checks to ensure potential tenants have the right to rent property in the UK.
Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said: “Many private rental tenants are happy with their home and the service they receive, but there are still rogue landlords that exploit vulnerable people and force their tenants to live in overcrowded and squalid accommodation.
“We are determined to tackle these rogues which is why we are providing 48 councils with extra funding, so they can get rid of the cowboy operators in their area and bring an end to tenants living in miserable homes in the name of profit.
“We also want to raise the quality and choice of rental accommodation across the sector. The funding will ensure tenants know what level of service they can expect and have confidence to get help and take action if things go wrong.”
The cash will also allow councils to root out more ‘beds in sheds’. Since 2011, nearly 40,000 inspections have taken place in properties with over 3,000 landlords facing further enforcement action or prosecution.
Measures in the Bill include:
• Database of rogue landlords and property agents convicted of certain offences;
• Banning orders for the most serious and prolific offenders;
• Introduction of civil penalties of up to £30, 000 as an alternative to prosecution;
• Extension of Rent Repayment Orders to cover illegal eviction, breach of a banning order or failure to comply with a statutory notice;
• More stringent fit and proper person test for landlords of licensable properties such as Houses in Multiple Occupation.
The funding will allow local authorities to carry out more raids, increase inspections of property, issue more statutory notices, survey more streets and to demolish sheds and prohibited buildings.
Mr Lewis said today’s funding is part of a package of measures that will ensure millions of hard-working tenants get a better deal when they rent a home.
Significant progress has already been made, now with £11.7 million distributed to councils to crack down on rogue landlords. And protection for tenants against retaliatory eviction has also been introduced where they have a legitimate complaint and stopped landlords from serving an open-ended eviction notice at the start of a tenancy.
The measures will not hamper the vast majority of landlords who are diligent and responsible.
The poor quality, overcrowded and dangerous accommodation let by rogue landlords can result in a ripple effect of wider problems in the local community such as noise problems; sanitation issues for whole roads; greater fire risk; council tax and benefit fraud and anti-social behaviour such as street drinking.
Today’s funding to tackle rogue landlords is part of an ambitious package of proposals in the Housing and Planning Bill to ensure that England’s nine million private tenants feel confident to demand better standards and management of their property by landlords.
Right to rent checks can be done from 28 days before the start of a tenancy agreement. For more information, click here.
In November 2015, 65 local authorities were invited to bid for a share of £5m funding to tackle rogue landlords. Forty-eight councils across the country will receive funding to tackle rogue landlords in their area:
Blackburn with Darwen £39,375
City of Lincoln £96,071
Lewisham £151, 378
Liverpool £112, 500
London Borough of Barking and Dagenham £250,000
London Borough of Brent £295,000
London Borough of Enfield £360,000
London Borough of Hackney £36,400
London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham £91,000
London Borough of Haringey £100,000
London Borough of Hounslow £67,500
London Borough of Newham £428,241
London Borough of Southwark £31,200
London Borough of Tower Hamlets £100,000
London Borough of Waltham Forest £225,000
North East Lincolnshire 64,250
Royal Borough of Greenwich £175,000
Kensington and Chelsea £91,000
Torbay Council £90,000