Councils to set to benefit from grant funding to tackle rogue landlords
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has confirmed that over £4 million will be shared by more than 100 councils following a bidding process to help tackle rogue landlords.
Councils were invited to submit their bids for the Innovation and Enforcement Grant Fund by 1 December 2019 with an expectation that any funding has to be spent by 31 March 2020. Some of the successful bids confirmed include:
- Northampton – will be able to target the ‘very worst landlords’ through the formation of a ‘Special Operations Unit’
- Greenwich- new technology will be trialled that will be aimed at identifying renters in cold homes and helping ensure they can remain warm over winter
- 21 councils across Yorkshire and Humberside – will benefit from the training of over 100 enforcement officers
- Thurrock – will work closely with the care services to ensure that that most vulnerable tenants can secure decent accommodation.
This announcement follows on from the confirmation that the Government will proceed with abolishing Section 21 as announced in the Queen’s Speech as they seek to implement reforms with in the private rented sector.
Chris Norris, Director of Policy and Practice at the National Landlords Association (NLA), says:
"We welcome the news that more funding will be made available for councils in England to crack down on landlords who break the law and provide inadequate services to tenants. While an overwhelming majority of landlords provide an excellent service to their tenants, it is important that the government makes a stand against criminals operating in the private rented sector.
“However, this one-time handout is wholly insufficient in contrast to the long-term issues facing authorities burdened by ever more legislation of increasing complexity. The offer of just over £4 million to be spread across around 100 of the 343 local authorities – an average of less than £40,000 per council - is simply not enough.
“Good landlords want to see fair enforcement and local authorities need far more substantial and consistent support and funding to be able to enforce properly in the PRS and rid the sector of the criminals operating within it.”