New government initiative targets rogue landlords

Ministers are getting tough on rogue landlords that make the lives of hard working tenants a misery.

Housing minister Kris Hopkins has committed £4 million to put an end to squalid and potentially dangerous properties.

The funding will be shared among 23 local authorities as part of an initiative to build on their work to root out ‘beds in sheds’ and take on the “unscrupulous Scrooges” renting out these properties.

Indeed, poor quality and overcrowded properties can cause wider issues in the local community, such as noise problems, sanitation issues for entire streets and increased fire risk.

More than 500 examples of sub-standard accommodation rented by rogue landlords have been found and action was lodged against the owners.

Meanwhile, nine local authorities have already received £2.6 million to tackle the problem and improve standards in the private rented sector.

Mr Hopkins said: “[The] measures will continue our progress, ensuring tenants know what level of service they can expect and, if things do go wrong, giving them the confidence to get help and take action.”

Anthony Garbutt of Belvoir Lettings Thirsk said: “One of the biggest difficulties comes with self managed landlords who perhaps don’t have the legal support we have and miss changes in legislation. We hear daily from tenants and landlords who have fallen foul of this and lost out financially.”

My advice would be, know the law inside and out. Invest in your property, complete proper inventories and if you have any doubt whatsoever, consult a reputable agent.

New legislation, which came into force earlier this month, will enable courts to take account of landlords’ assets, as well as their income, when levying fines for housing offences.

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