Local authorities are to be given an additional £2 million to crackdown on rogue landlords, it has been announced.
The new cash helps answer one of the key criticisms of the government’s attempts to reform the broken housing market; that new rogue landlord legislation is pointless unless backed up with robust enforcement.
Six months ago the government launched a national rogue landlord database but, a national newspaper reported last month, the database remains empty.
Once landlords are added, the contents of the database is to be available only to approved bodies and not the general public, a situation ARLA’s chief executive recently described as ‘ridiculous’.
The new enforcement cash will be spent on a range of initiatives to take the battle to criminal landlords including joining up the dots between emergency services, legal services and local housing advocates.
“Providing £2 million towards enforcement is a welcome start, but it’s little more than a drop in the ocean,” says Richard Lambert (left), CEO of the National Landlords Association.
“Local authorities need far more substantial and consistent resourcing to be able to enforce properly in the PRS and rid the sector of the criminals operating within it.”
Other initiatives being funded by the new cash include better information gathering about rogue landlords, helping local authorities share information on those who rent out properties in different areas and cities within the UK, and developing better strategies and software to improve the enforcement process
“This funding will help further strengthen councils’ powers to tackle rogue landlords and ensure that poor-quality homes in their area are improved, making the housing market fairer for everyone,” says Housing Minister Heather Wheeler (left).