£2.4m for government crackdown on irresposible landlords

by Nick Thompson

9:02 AM, 15th January 2019
About 2 years ago

£2.4m for government crackdown on irresposible landlords

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£2.4m for government crackdown on irresposible landlords

More than 50 councils across the country will share nearly £2.4 million of extra funding to crack down on rogue landlords, Housing Minister Heather Wheeler has announced in the government press release below:

Whilst the majority of landlords provide decent homes for their tenants, the cash boost will enable local councils to step up action against the small minority who continue to flout the law and force vulnerable tenants such as young families to live in inadequate or unsafe housing.

Councils across the country from Allerdale to Watford will receive a share of the funding for projects to take tougher action against unscrupulous landlords.

Councils to receive funding are:

Walsall – to improve cross-agency enforcement work, including the innovative use of drones and thermal mapping to identify problem properties

Lancaster – to create a training programme for existing enforcement staff across the Lancashire region

Greater London Authority (GLA) and Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) – allocated over £330,000 between them to carry out coordinated work to tackle rogue landlords who operate across multiple local authorities in their regions

Housing Minister Heather Wheeler MP 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.”

The government has already equipped local authorities with strong powers to tackle criminal landlords, ranging from fines to outright bans for the worst offenders.

The new funding will be used to support a range of projects that councils have said will help them to ramp up action against criminal landlords – for example, to build relationships with external organisations such as the emergency services, legal services and local housing advocates.

Councils may also decide to support tenants to take action against poor standards through rent repayment orders, or develop digital solutions, helping officers to report back and make decisions quicker.

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

This builds on ongoing government action to drive up standards in the private rented sector – ensuring millions of hard-working tenants can live in the homes they deserve and creating a housing market that works for everyone.

Further information

There are 4.7 million households in the private rented sector in England, with recent statistics showing that 82% of private renters are satisfied with their accommodation.

The fund will help councils to take on the most common challenges that stand in the way of tackling poor standards in the private rented sector, including:

  • the need for better information – on housing stock and on landlords and agents operating in their areas
  • data sharing between authorities and agencies – identifying and bringing together different data sets to enable better enforcement targeting
  • internal ‘ways of working’ – improving housing-specific legal expertise, in-house communication between teams, and tools and strategies to effectively implement policy
  • innovative software – for enforcement officers to record their findings, gather evidence and streamline the enforcement process.

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Comments

Rod

9:20 AM, 15th January 2019
About 2 years ago

I've already mailed her stating our case!

Ian Narbeth

10:37 AM, 15th January 2019
About 2 years ago

We should bang on about the 82% satisfaction rate. We can make a further point.
If you draw the inference from that statistic that 82% of tenants have decent landlords, you are probably wrong. The percentage of decent landlords is likely to be even higher. Let me explain.
Of the tenants surveyed at any one time, some will have been in dispute with their landlord. They may be in arrears of rent or have damaged the property or be using it for illegal purposes such as drugs or prostitution. Their landlords will be taking steps to get the defaulting tenants out. Self-righteous defaulting tenants can be expected to say that they are not happy with their accommodation, even if the property is (or was before they trashed it) perfectly good and the landlord is a saint who has done everything right.
On the other side of the equation it is unlikely that tenants will tell a survey that they are satisfied with their accommodation when it is substandard.
It follows that 82% is an under-estimate of satisfactory rented accommodation. QED.

Monty Bodkin

11:20 AM, 15th January 2019
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 15/01/2019 - 10:37
Also worth pointing out that in the same highly respected survey, private tenants were more satisfied with their homes than social tenants.

Marie

12:02 PM, 15th January 2019
About 2 years ago

Nobody is forcing anyone to live anywhere in the private sector! If they do not like the property they do not have to take it or renew their tenancies when they are up. It is called a free market! Politicians don't get it. the people that cannot move are the ones in the social sector but that is exempt from any of the regulations!
Duuuh

Paul Shears

12:25 PM, 15th January 2019
About 2 years ago

Wouldn't this money be better spent on creating self financing accommodation for people to the standard that the government wants?

Oh no wait a minute. I have got that wrong.

Our local council formed an alliance with a charity and donated a section of our local rubbish dump to build accommodation for people at the bottom end of society. There were homeless individuals. The idea was to get these people reintroduced to the community by getting them to live on and alongside a public rubbish dump on the edge of town.

The cost of this architect designed structure was £3,500,000.
The structure seems to be completely encapsulated by scaffolding to maintain it's unique roof structure and externally wood decorated walls around every two years.
The number of homeless people given one tiny bedroom each was twenty four.
I would assume that the income stream generated by any recycled tax money from the homeless can be safely ignored in the equation from a council/charity "business" point of view.
So that makes £145,833 per "inmate" capital outlay plus an utterly incredible amount of maintenance. By the way, they could not even get a simple 500 foot long, four feet tall, two rail "post and rail fence right. Via a hierarchy of bureaucrats they employed a wooden fencing company to install a recycled plastics fence. No doubt this was because of the fence's "green" credentials. For those of do not know, this is an excellent material that you really need to understand fully before you can even consider using for anything. It has a massive coefficient of expansion. In other words it is not dimensional stable. The result was that the fence rapidly buckled and distorted all over the place and after a couple of years of hoping that the embarrassment would go away, it was completely removed by the council and replaced by the same thing in softwood..........

AJ

13:17 PM, 15th January 2019
About 2 years ago

all this stuff is really good, but what about the house next door, the people struggling to pay the mortgage.
Do they get a gas safe cert every year- probably not
Do they have a legionnaires disease test - probably not
Do the get an electrical test every year - probably not
Do they have linked smoke and heat alarms - probably 50%

So my advice is to rent, and rent somewhere where your neighbours either side are also tenants, that way, your at less risk of the house catching fire, blowing up or contracting legionnaires disease.

The world has gone mad.

Marie

9:30 AM, 16th January 2019
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by AJ at 15/01/2019 - 13:17
Yes totally agree. All of these regs don't apply to home owners.

Luke P

11:56 AM, 16th January 2019
About 2 years ago

That's about £45k per authority. It will be quickly spent on nothing of substance.

Richard Peeters

15:44 PM, 19th January 2019
About 2 years ago

And another thing …
I am in the process of updating our AST template (yet again) due to recent changes to the regulations, and thought I'd check the gov.uk website for some help and wisdom. Hah!
The so-called "model agreement" runs to 32 pages plus 18 pages of introduction, annexes and guidance, so 50 pages in total!
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/model-agreement-for-a-shorthold-assured-tenancy
Whom is that supposed to help? Councils as landlords? Embattled private landlords? Refugees and vulnerable tenants? Print one copy for landlords, one for tenants, maybe one for the agent. Need to take it to the County Court? Three more copies please!
And it's not even up-to-date (lots of rules have changed since it was published in 2016).
It could be worse … just imagine having to provide translated versions too!


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