Police in Scotland are clamping down on what they call “gangster landlords” who are using the lettings sector for money laundering.
A report in the Glasgow Herald says up to a dozen suspected criminals, including people traffickers, have lost the right to rent out homes by being designated as failing local authority "fit and proper persons" definitions.
Police Scotland's new chief constable, Phil Gormley, tells the paper that a pilot held in North Lanarkshire is now being rolled out across Scotland.
In recent years mortgage fraud has become a common charge against criminal landlords and Police Scotland has set up an ongoing ‘Operation Thero’ to investigate links between organised crime groups and the private rental sector.
North Lanarkshire council has been sharing details of its landlords with police for four years and has stripped criminals, such as people with assault convictions, of their private rental licenses through a "fit and proper person review panel".
This has now been extended to "those involved in serious and organised crime and human trafficking" according to the police.
Some 31 landlords in the pilot area have been referred to the review panel; nine have been removed and three have voluntarily left the landlord register, while a further nine are awaiting their fate.