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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

New Gov. fund to tackle rogue landlords

Communities Secretary Greg Clark has announced a £5 million pound pot to be shared between councils to help tackle rogue landlords.

The political sweetener is headlined as helping to stop rogue landlords and tackle ‘beds in sheds’ ( though by my rough calculations, £5million, shared between 65 councils, equates to each council employing one man and a dog to sniff out 'those rogues' ).

Councils will be able to bid for a slice of the fund, which can be used to help them -
  • increase inspections of property
  • carry out more raids
  • initiate more enforcement action and prosecutions 
  • demolish sheds and buildings that are prohibited

Greg Clark comments:

"We’re determined to keep the country building and increase the supply of good quality homes that families want, both to buy and for rent.

Key to this is rooting out the minority of landlords in the private rented sector that let out poorly-maintained and unsafe properties to vulnerable tenants, making their lives a misery.

Council-led efforts mean more than 3,000 landlords have faced enforcement action and even prosecution in the last 2 years – today’s £5 million funding, combined with the extra powers we’re bringing forward, will help them go even further."

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said:

"We are inviting the worst affected councils to come forward and apply for extra funding, so they can root out the cowboys and rogue operators."

This announcement precedes the introduction of the latest Housing and Planning Bill, currently going through parliament which is aimed to further  crackdown  on the unscrupulous landlords brigade, by - 
  • introducing banning orders for rogue landlords the most prolific and serious offenders
  • issuing penalty notices of up to £5,000 for breaches 
  • creating a new 'non court' repossession process for abandoned tenancies
  • starting and managing a database of rogue landlords and letting agents
  • introducing a more stringent ‘fit and proper’ person test for landlords 
  • extending Rent Repayment Orders ( to  situations where a tenant has been illegally evicted or the landlord has failed to rectify a serious health and safety hazard in the property, and allowing local authorities to retain that money for housing purposes where the rent was paid through Housing Benefit or Universal Credit

The Government hopes this announcement will -  keep people happy...

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