Government to fund rogue landlord crackdown

Government to fund rogue landlord crackdown

9:40 AM, 24th November 2022, About 2 weeks ago 34

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The government has today revealed that it will fund councils with high numbers of ‘poor privately rented homes’ in a bid to crack down on rogue landlords and drive-up standards in the private rented sector (PRS).

The announcement by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) will fund:

  • £2.3 million for Greater Manchester – including Rochdale and surrounding councils – to increase the use of fines where a landlord is found to have committed an offence
  • £678,000 for Leeds to use behavioural science to change culture among landlords, improving knowledge and skills
  • £1.14 million for Cornwall to create a database of private rented accommodation in the area and record standards to target better enforcement action.

Help councils maintain private rental sector standards

Propertymark, the professional body for estate and letting agents, welcomed the move to help councils maintain private rented sector standards.

Nathan Emerson, Propertymark’s chief executive, said: “A lack of enforcement and the low number of private rented property inspections by local authorities undermines the current regulatory regime.

“It’s good news that the Secretary of State is allocating further funding in this area, something we have repeatedly called for.”

He added: “Qualified letting agents are well placed to support local authorities in maintaining standards.

“Independent landlords can tap into their knowledge and understanding of the latest legal requirements for the sector to ensure they comply.”

Condemned the social housing provider for failing to treat hazardous mould

The cash announcement comes after the government revealed that it will strip Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH) of its expected extra £1m funding from the Affordable Homes Programme after a coroner last week condemned the social housing provider for failing to treat hazardous mould that led to the death of two-year-old Awaab Ishak.

RHB will not get any extra money until the Regulator of Social Housing has concluded its investigation and it can prove it is a responsible landlord.

The Government will also continue to monitor the housing standards of RBH tenancies closely, working with the Regulator and Ombudsman, to ensure that tenants have appropriate housing.

Michael Gove, the Housing Secretary, wrote to all councils and housing associations last weekend saying they must raise the bar dramatically on standards and demanding urgent action when people complain about damp and mould.

Holding failing landlords to account for poor safety and quality

However, the government’s announcement today reveals that holding failing landlords to account for poor safety and quality is not just an issue in social housing.

That is why the government is awarding £14 million to seven areas with high numbers of poor privately rented homes to crack down on rogue landlords and test new approaches to driving up standards.

Mr Gove said: “RBH failed its tenants so it will not receive a penny of additional taxpayers’ money for new housing until it gets its act together and does right by tenants.

“Let this be a warning to other housing providers who are ignoring complaints and failing in their obligations to tenants. We will not hesitate to act.”

He added: “Everyone deserves the right to live in a safe, decent home and this government will always act to protect tenants.”



Comments

Beaver

10:16 AM, 25th November 2022, About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Hamish McBloggs at 25/11/2022 - 09:39
I don't really mind tenants drying clothes in my property; whether they use a condensing washer drier, dehumidifier, tumble drier or clothes rack is immaterial to me. It's fine if they open the window of whichever room they want to dry clothes in.

I guess it's not so easy with a flat without a balcony but I have provided both clothes lines and rotary driers in the past to encourage tenants to dry outside but the tenant's children play on them and break them: A large child swinging on a clothes-line will easily bend and break even a steel clothes-line poll. The last time I supplied a new external rotary drier it didn't survive a year. Tenants' children do way more damage than pets do.

All that I care about is that they understand that if they don't ventilate and heat the property, or open the window when they run the tumble drier, mould will form; that they pay for it out of their deposit if they cause widespread damage; and that nobody holds me responsible for the black mould if it's because they have not heated and ventilated properly and not down to a structural problem with my property.

Just because you've got black mould in your property it doesn't follow that it's your fault as the landlord. Whatever you provide tenants need the wit to be able to use it

Hamish McBloggs

10:51 AM, 25th November 2022, About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Porky at 24/11/2022 - 17:13
You'd think so.

If only LA's had team's that would have systems in place to join together HMRC, Fraud, Police, Immigration ... with these organisation having reciprocal systems ...

Hamish McBloggs

11:08 AM, 25th November 2022, About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Beaver at 25/11/2022 - 10:16
Beaver,

I take a similar position to you. But the word 'reasonable' must be exercised. This was beyond family washing and, as you put it, 'wit'.

The flat had a rather nice, modest balcony and stacked full of clothes airers when not raining.

Rotary clothes lines. I know we can't mother everyone but I do worry about these and children. When they are folded there's lots of playtime hanging potential.

Hamish

Beaver

11:42 AM, 25th November 2022, About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Hamish McBloggs at 25/11/2022 - 11:08
I think you are right. When I last replaced a clothes-line it was because the steel clothes-line pole, which was about 6 cm across and made of steel probably 0.5cm thick, was bent over at about 30 degrees to the ground. It wasn't rusted and I couldn't easily bend it. The only way it could have been broken would be if a substantial child had been swinging on the clothes-line. Because this had had the effect of shortening the clothes-line the tenant had taken up the slack by wrapping the other end around a steel down-pipe rather than re-attaching to the steel hook on the wall that was there for the purpose. So if the child did it again this might have brought the steel down-pipe down, possibly on the child.

The tenant raised the issue of the broken clothes-line (without volunteering information on how it got broken) and I asked how important it was; I couldn't really leave it because in it's broken state it was a hazard. My preference was just to remove it and not replace. The tenant's husband said it was used to dry washing on fine days so it was important. So I pointed out the only way it could have been broken was by somebody swinging on it. I said I will "...replace this once"; my reason for doing it was that I didn't want them attaching another clothes-line to the downpipe on the house again. And so I installed a rotary clothes-line because I assumed that it wouldn't end up attached to a downpipe.

I gave the instructions for the rotary clothes-line to the husband, pointed out the hazards and suggested that it might be best to fold it up and keep the cover on when not in use. When I went back the following year it was no longer there; I assumed the child had trashed it and didn't replace it.

One of the issues with being a landlord is that some tenants do things that are stupid; some don't have the wit to use the things you have provided for them properly; and some do not adequately supervise their children. As a good landlord you use your best efforts to make your property suitable for them, but you cannot be held liable for everything they do.

LaLo

11:51 AM, 25th November 2022, About 2 weeks ago

Will you all never learn - everything errs on tenants side, they can do no wrong - end of storey!

Hamish McBloggs

11:55 AM, 25th November 2022, About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Beaver at 25/11/2022 - 11:42
I provide the hole for a rotary clothes line and make it clear that I do not provide the clothes line. I'm not quite sure who would be responsible for an unfortunate happening if the landlord provides it.

In fact, the very first letter I write to a prospective tenant states this. It also states that we don't provide fridges or freezers.

These are firmly the tenant's responsibility.

We will only provide a built in oven and hob (because of the wiring).

Beaver

12:02 PM, 25th November 2022, About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Hamish McBloggs at 25/11/2022 - 11:55
And yet you probably have flats with balconies that tenants' children can fall off; you probably supply properties with gas hobs that they can burn themselves on; possibly gas ovens that they can leave on, or create fires in (yes, seen that one).

When it came to supplying the rotary drier I was trying to resolve a safety issue. The original pole was bent over at 30 degrees to the ground and you could walk into it. I couldn't leave it. So I supplied the hole and the drier *but* took pictures, including a picture of the instructions supplied to the tenant.

You do have to keep records to cover yourself. But at the end of the day, some tenants are stupid, disorganised, negligent or some combination of the same. And you can't be held liable for everything.

But I would certainly recommend taking and keeping pictures. 🙂

Hamish McBloggs

12:55 PM, 25th November 2022, About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Beaver at 25/11/2022 - 12:02
A long time ago, 1990 ish, I vaguely remember Jaguar got sued in the U.S.

There was one tongue in cheek response I read that stated ... 'Wheelbrace ! Do not poke this in your eye, it may blind'

Beaver

14:03 PM, 25th November 2022, About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Hamish McBloggs at 25/11/2022 - 12:55
So do any of your properties have clothes lines? Or rotary driers? And if a tenant leaves and leaves a rotary drier do you throw the rotary drier in a skip to avoid being liable?

Hamish McBloggs

15:47 PM, 25th November 2022, About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Beaver at 25/11/2022 - 14:03
We simply provide the hole in the ground.

Tenants have left them behind for a variety of reasons. Sometimes forgotten and sometimes unwanted.

We do make the effort to contact the tenant and some have been collected, some have told us to bin it and others simply can't be bothered to responed despite reasonable efforts.

For those who don't want it, I compare it with ours, if its better we bin our old one and have a new one 🙂

For the can't be bothered bunch I'll stick it in our garage for a couple of weeks and then compare it with ours, if its better we bin our old one and have a new one 🙂

Otherwise I 'freecycle' any with useful life left.

Probably not a good business model if you have a thousand properties.

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