Housing minister Heather Wheeler has announced £2.4m of extra funding to crack down on rogue landlords.
More than 50 councils will share the money which can be used to take action against irresponsible landlords who make tenants’ lives a misery.
The cash boost will enable local councils to step up action against the small minority of landlords who continue to flout the law and force vulnerable tenants, such as young families, to live in inadequate or unsafe housing.
Among the councils to benefit from the funding are Walsall and Lancaster. In addition, the Greater London Authority (GLA) and Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) have been allocated more than £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 says: “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.