Councils across the country are to receive £5m to tackle rogue landlords in their area, housing minister Brandon Lewis announced today.
Some 48 councils will share the funding so they can take on the irresponsible landlords that force tenants to live in squalid and dangerous properties, making their lives a misery.
Lewis said: “Many private rental tenants are happy with their home and the service they receive, but there are still rogue landlords that exploit vulnerable people and force their tenants to live in overcrowded and squalid accommodation.
“We also want to raise the quality and choice of rental accommodation across the sector. The funding will ensure tenants know what level of service they can expect and have confidence to get help and take action if things go wrong.”
Since 2011 nearly 40,000 inspections have taken place in properties with over 3,000 landlords facing further enforcement action or prosecution.
The funding will allow local authorities to carry out more raids, increase inspections of property, issue more statutory notices, survey more streets and to demolish sheds and prohibited buildings.
However the Residential Landlords Association said the money announced is not sufficient to tackle the minority of landlords who cause misery for their tenants.
Alan Ward, chairman of the RLA, said: “The new funding averages £80,000 per council – hardly a great encouragement.
“Without fundamental changes to the way that regulations are enforced, local authorities will fail to find and prosecute the criminals who pretend to be landlords.
“Though a minority, they cause misery for tenants and have no place in a modern rental market.”