More money given to councils if they deal with rogue landlords. An extra £2.4 million of funds has been allocated to the campaign to tackle rogue landlords. Heather Wheeler MP, the Housing Minister, announced that the extra funds are a reaction by the government to recent reports that local councils are failing to do enough to tackle rogue landlords. She emphasised that all tenants deserve to rent a home which is safe. More than 50 local councils are expected to benefit from the £2.4 million fund to ramp up the actions available against irresponsible landlords who make tenants’ lives miserable and bring the industry into disrepute.

The money will be used to create new digital systems and tools as well as to boost staffing in the short-term, in order to help councils protect tenants more effectively. The measures will expand on the current actions available for the government to increase standards across the industry and protect renters. All councils will be eligible to bid for the extra funds if they boost their enforcement action against the landlords who are operating irresponsibly and in breach of the law. The government is looking to these councils to test and develop innovative methods to clamp down on unsafe and squalid housing.

This extra funding shapes part of the government’s campaign to improve the standards within the PRS (private rented sector), with the Government aiming to ensure that millions of diligent and hard-working tenants are provided with the homes they deserve, while creating a fair housing market that performs for all. Powerful laws already exist for the local authorities, which they can utilise to bring action against rogue landlords. In addition, over the past few years, legal powers have been implemented which make the roles of local housing officers simpler and easier.

It is now required that landlords make necessary improvements to rental properties, in particular relating to MEES (energy efficiency), amongst a range of other measures and this can lead to banning orders, confiscations and heavy fines – all measures which have been made accessible to councils. The government has suggested that local councils could support tenants in taking action against landlords where housing conditions are below standard, or they could develop digital systems which could help housing officers monitor the rental properties located in their area.

It is anticipated that councils will contribute examples and best practices of successful, innovative measures they have implemented, which could be easily adapted to other regions in the country. The latest report from the English Housing Survey discovered that 84 per cent of renters within the private rented sector were happy with their rental housing.

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