£4m to crack down on criminal landlords and agents

£4m to crack down on criminal landlords and agents

6:58 AM, 3rd January 2020, About 3 years ago 6

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New government press release today: More than 100 councils across England have been awarded a share of over £4 million to crack down on criminal landlords and letting agents, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP has announced.  The majority of landlords provide decent homes for their tenants, but a small minority persist in breaking the law, making tenants’ lives a misery by offering inadequate or unsafe housing.

The new funding will be used by councils to take enforcement action against these landlords, and advise tenants of their housing rights. This action will continue the government’s ongoing work to make the private rented sector fairer and stamp out criminal practices for good.

Among the councils to benefit from the funding are:

  • 21 councils across Yorkshire and Humberside – to train over 100 enforcement officers across the region to ensure standards are being met by landlords
  • Northampton – to create a ‘Special Operations Unit’ to enforce against the very worst landlords responsible for over 100 homes in the town
  • Thurrock – to work with the care service to ensure the most vulnerable young tenants are in decent, well-maintained homes
  • Greenwich – to trial new technology to identify particularly cold homes to ensure renters are warm over the winter period

Housing SecretaryRobert Jenrick said: “This government will deliver a better deal for renters. It’s completely unacceptable that a minority of unscrupulous landlords continue to break the law and provide homes which fall short of the standards we rightly expect – making lives difficult for hard-working tenants who just want to get on with their lives.

“Everyone deserves to live in a home that is safe and secure and the funding announced today will strengthen councils’ powers to crack down on poor landlords and drive up standards in the private rented sector for renters across the country.”

Councils already have strong powers to force landlords to make necessary improvements to a property through use of a range of measures, including civil penalties and banning orders for the worst offenders.

The grants will support a range of projects to enable councils to make the best use of these powers. This will include trialling innovative ideas, sharing best practice and targeted enforcement where we know landlords shirk their responsibilities.

Today’s announcement demonstrates government’s commitment to helping good landlords to thrive, and hard-working tenants across the country get the homes they deserve – creating a housing market that works for everyone.

Further information

This government has committed to delivering a fairer deal for renters and empower them whilst also giving greater peace of mind.

We will end no fault evictions, so that landlords can’t remove tenants without good reason, and introduce Lifetime Rental Deposits so renters don’t have to save up for a new deposit while their money is tied up in an old one.

There are more than 4.5 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 take on the most common challenges that stand in the way of tackling poor standards in the private rented sector, including:

  • encouraging positive landlord/tenant/local authority relationships, particularly with vulnerable groups such as care leavers
  • 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 which protects the most vulnerable tenants
  • 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


terry sullivan

9:24 AM, 3rd January 2020, About 3 years ago

more wasted money

The Forever Tenant

11:20 AM, 3rd January 2020, About 3 years ago

This will employ 1 person per council area for 1 year. That is nowhere near enough to tackle the issue.

terry sullivan

11:25 AM, 3rd January 2020, About 3 years ago

what issue? its of no consequence

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

14:27 PM, 3rd January 2020, About 3 years ago

Hang on a minute, the areas that need to crack down on criminals are already collecting millions of pounds from licensing and achieving nothing. What difference will yet another £4,000,000 of tax payers money make?

The only positive I can see is that at least this money will be funded equally by all taxpayers and not only good landlords for a change!

Mick Roberts

11:06 AM, 4th January 2020, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark Alexander at 03/01/2020 - 14:27
Exactly that Mark. And quite the opposite in fact. Licensing is making the good landlords pay up & 79 year old Landlords go on training courses when he & tenant perfectly happy.
It's making the American Landlady sell when she & tenant been happy for 7 years.
Nottingham has just increased the price to £890 16 months into a 5 year scheme cause they wasn't getting enough money in. So instantly so many hundred Landlords thought Screw this, I'm out of here. So Licensing will get even less money in now.

The 79% of good houses (who din't have a problem before) now get worse of Licensing &/or sell. Tenants in Nottingham now loads worse off than 2 years ago.
Much higher rents.
No choice.
No Landlord taking HB tenants any more.
And hotel bills for the homeless £600pw. Premier Inn Nottingham doing a roaring trade.

Hamish McBloggs

15:11 PM, 9th January 2020, About 3 years ago

I was curious so was doing a bit of digging and can't find estimates:

How many HMO licences are there currently nationally?

What is the overall value of those?

What is the potential number/value?

Anyone know?


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