Innovation and changeDigital TransformationCouncils receive funding for tech to tackle rogue landlords

Councils receive funding for tech to tackle rogue landlords

Money to be used to boost short-term staffing and create new digital tools to help councils better protect tenants.

More than 50 councils across the country will share nearly £2.4 million of extra funding to crack down on rogue landlords, Housing Minister Heather Wheeler has announced.

Whilst the majority of landlords provide decent homes for their tenants, the cash boost will enable local councils to step up action against the small minority who continue to flout the law and force vulnerable tenants such as young families to live in inadequate or unsafe housing.

Councils across the country from Allerdale to Watford will receive a share of the funding for projects to take tougher action against unscrupulous landlords.

Among the councils to benefit from the funding are:

  • Walsall to improve cross-agency enforcement work, including the innovative use of drones and thermal mapping to identify problem properties
  • Lancaster to create a training programme for existing enforcement staff across the Lancashire region
  • Greater London Authority (GLA) and Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) have been allocated over £330,000 between them to carry out coordinated work to tackle rogue landlords who operate across multiple local authorities in their regions

Housing Minister Heather Wheeler MP said: “Everyone has the right 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 extra funding will further boost councils’ ability to root out rogue landlords and ensure that poor-quality homes in the area are improved, making the housing market fairer for everyone.”

The government has already equipped local authorities with strong powers to tackle criminal landlords, ranging from fines to outright bans for the worst offenders.

The new funding will be used to support a range of projects that councils have said will help them to ramp up action against criminal landlords – for example, to build relationships with external organisations such as the emergency services, legal services and local housing advocates.

Councils may also decide to support tenants to take action against poor standards through rent repayment orders, or develop digital solutions, helping officers to report back and make decisions quicker.

Councils that receive funding will be encouraged to share best practice and examples of innovative approaches, to help improve enforcement in other areas.

This builds on ongoing government action to drive up standards in the private rented sector – ensuring millions of hard-working tenants can live in the homes they deserve and creating a housing market that works for everyone.

Last year, all London boroughs committed to submit records of successful prosecutions and fines to an online checker, a free tool that allows Londoners to check if the landlord or letting agent of a rental property has been convicted of any housing offences.

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