The government is making an extra £4million available to local councils across the country to help them crack down on criminal landlords.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said most landlords provide quality homes for their tenants, but a small minority continue to break the law and offer inadequate or unsafe housing, leaving young families and vulnerable people feeling trapped.
He added: “The funding will be used to allow good landlords to thrive, helping millions of hard-working tenants renting privately get the homes they deserve, ensuring that those who follow the rules are not unfairly disadvantaged.
This is the second year of the fund. Last year over £2 million was shared amongst 56 projects, reaching 100 councils which together are home to over a million households living in the private rented sector.
Mr Jenrick said: “It’s unacceptable that a small minority of unscrupulous landlords appear to be breaking the law and providing homes which fall short of the standards that tenants rightly expect.
“We have given local authorities strong powers to force landlords to make necessary improvements to a property. They can use a range of measures, including fines and banning orders, to tackle criminal landlords.”
“This funding helps councils to capitalise on their strengthened powers, last year being used to train hundreds of inspection officers and create new technologies to make sure inspectors spend their time taking action to improve the sector, not stuck behind a desk.”
Last year, Burnley received over £60,000 to carry out proactive inspections of rented homes in the area, allowing them to reach vulnerable tenants who are less likely to report a problem to their council.
The council found and fixed over 100 hazards across the properties they inspected. In some cases, the funding helped tenants who were trapped in properties which posted a serious risk to their safety – meaning they could be rehoused in quality accommodation.
Mr Jenrick said: “We want to support a thriving private rented sector across the country. We want to encourage councils to share best practice of enforcement action and examples of inventive approaches that can be adopted by councils nationwide to drive quality and stamp out bad landlords.”
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