In a bid to improve the reputation of the residential rental sector, the UK government has announced plans to provide £5 million worth of extra funding to councils around the country, according to the Gov.uk website. Housing Minister Brandon Lewis made the announcement on 22 January 2016 in an effort to crack down on irresponsible landlords who force tenants to live in squalid and dangerous properties.
The funding will be shared out across 48 councils and will give 65 local authorities the power to increase the number ofproperty inspections, issue more statutory notices, survey streets and demolish sheds and prohibited buildings.
Among those 48 councils, the London boroughs of Newham, Waltham Forest and Brent will see a large portion of the funding. Outside of London, councils in Blackpool, Nottingham and Hastings will receive significant support.
How will this help potential tenants?
Commenting on the incentive behind the funding, Mr. Lewis explained that the new measures, part of the Housing and Planning Bill, will ensure that tenants get a fair deal when they rent a home. This proposal will take total funding to £11.7 million distributed across the nation’s councils.
“Many private rental tenants are happy with their home and the service they receive, but there are still rogue landlords that exploit vulnerable people and force their tenants to live in overcrowded and squalid accommodation.” Mr. Lewis explained, adding that the measures will not affect the vast majority of diligent and responsible landlords.
“We are determined to tackle these rogues which is why we are providing 48 councils with extra funding, so they can get rid of the cowboy operators in their area and bring an end to tenants living in miserable homes in the name of profit.
“We also want to raise the quality and choice of rental accommodation across the sector. The funding will ensure tenants know what level of service they can expect and have confidence to get help and take action if things go wrong.”
The announcement is part of a package of proposals in the Housing and Planning Bill that is designed to instill confidence in England’s nine million tenants when it comes to demanding better standards of living and management of their property by landlords.
Measures in the Housing and Planning Bill include:
- A database of rogue landlords and property agents convicted of certain offences
- Banning orders for the most serious and prolific offenders
- An introduction of civil penalties of up to £30,000 as an alternative to prosecution
- Extension of Rent Repayment Orders to cover illegal eviction, breach of a banning order or failure to comply with a statutory notice
- More stringent fit and proper person test for landlords of licensable properties such as Houses in Multiple Occupation
The problems that ensue from poor quality, overcrowded and dangerous accommodation doesn’t just affect tenants, it can have a ripple effect in the wider community. Issues include noise problems, sanitation issues for entire roads, greater fire risk, council tax and benefit fraud and anti-social behavior.
Since 2011 up to 40,000 property inspections have taken place, with over 3,000 landlords facing enforcement action or prosecution.
This article was provided by Experience Invest.