The Government has made £2m of funding available for local authorities to tackle rogue landlords.
Councils have until the end of November to apply for funds to start projects that spot and stop criminal landlords and can be shared nationally.
The Government announcement said it was particularly keen to provide grants for projects that tackle:
- 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
The deadline for applications is November 30.
Heather Wheeler, housing minister, said: “Everyone deserves 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 funding will help further strengthen councils’ powers to tackle rogue landlords and ensure that poor-quality homes in their area are improved, making the housing market fairer for everyone.”
However, David Smith, policy director for the Residential Landlords Association, said the funding should be more focused on boosting existing enforcement powers.
He said: “The vast majority of landlords do a good job and provide decent housing for their tenants. That’s why 84% of private tenants are satisfied with their accommodation, a higher proportion than the social rented sector.
“Poor enforcement of the wide range of powers already available means that the minority of landlords who bring the sector into disrepute undercut the majority of good landlords and bring misery to the lives of their tenants. This is what the funding needs to tackle.”