Funding for councils to crack down on rogue landlords

Housing Minister Heather Wheeler has announced that more than 50 councils will benefit from nearly £2.4 million to enhance action against the irresponsible landlords.

The funding will enable local councils to step up action against the small minority of landlords who continue to flout the law and force vulnerable tenants such as young families to live in inadequate or unsafe housing.

Among the councils to benefit from the funding are Walsall, who will use the money to improve cross-agency enforcement work, including the innovative use of drones and thermal mapping to identify problem properties, as well as the Greater London Authority (GLA) and Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), who have been allocated over £330,000 between them to carry out coordinated work to tackle rogue landlords who operate across multiple local authorities in their regions.

Councils that receive funding will be encouraged to share best practice and examples of innovative approaches, to help improve enforcement in other areas.

Wheeler said: “Everyone has the right to live in a home that is safe and secure, and it is vital we crack down on the small minority of landlords who are not giving their tenants this security. This extra funding will further boost councils’ ability to root out rogue landlords and ensure that poor-quality homes in the area are improved, making the housing market fairer for everyone.”

Judith Blake, housing spokesman for the Local Government Association, said: “The vast majority of landlords are responsible and provide decent housing for their tenants, however the reputations of that majority are being tarnished by the small minority of landlords who exploit loopholes with no regard to their responsibilities.

“Councils want to support a good quality local private rented offer in their communities, but can be held back by significant funding pressures and uncertainty. It is therefore good that the government has announced a funding boost for councils to help ensure the small minority of rogue landlords improve standards. We ask that the government now follows this announcement by granting more freedom for councils to establish local licensing schemes.”