10:30 AM, 18th May 2012, About 10 years ago 2
Newham Council has completed stage one of a grandiose plan to licence 35,000 buy to let tenancies.
The Labour-led council wants to become the first to achieve the milestone and is looking to extend a pilot scheme in the neighbourhood improvement zone of Little Ilford that has seen 257 licences issued.
The council is also trying to set up the UK’s first public sector buy to let portfolio and has picked up extra cash from Housing Minister Grant Shapps under his initiative to stamp out beds-in-sheds shanty homes.
In Little Ilford, the council has also prosecuted landlords for dumping rubbish under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
The council harnesses infrared cameras and aerial photography to find the shanty homes.
Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales said: “It’s a fantastic achievement to reach this milestone there but we certainly won’t be resting on our laurels. We want this to be just the start.
“We will never accept private sector tenants being directly exploited by landlords who force them to live in dangerous and unacceptable conditions. One bad property drag down a whole street.
“Good landlords have nothing to fear from this scheme. For the bad ones, this a clear message they must clean up their act.”
Sir Robin added: “This proposed scheme shows that Newham is leading the country when it comes to tackling bad landlords who flout the law.
“We want to ensure that private sector rented properties are well managed and meet a good standard. We also want to deal with the crime and antisocial behaviour that is sometimes associated with bad private sector rented housing.
“There are good landlords in Newham and we want to work with them. Unfortunately there are also some unscrupulous ones – which these proposals would target.”
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