Housing Minister Mark Prisk has announced new funding to assist councils take on the rogue landlords who make tenants’ lives a misery.
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.
He said unscrupulous landlords exploit vulnerable people, with reports suggesting that some work with gangmasters to house illegal migrants. The poor quality, overcrowded and often dangerous accommodation they provide can result in:
- noise problems
- sanitation issues for whole streets
- greater fire risk
- council tax and benefit fraud
- anti-social behaviour such as street drinking
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 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.
“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.
“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.”