A lettings trade body has welcomed extra government funding for English councils to clamp down on criminal landlords.
But the Residential Landlords Association has said the extra resources are not sufficient in themselves to stop the problem of rogue agents and landlords.
David Smith, the RLA’s policy director, says: “We welcome news of new funding for enforcement which we have long campaigned for, but believe it must be part of a long term and sustainable settlement that provides the resources needed to support good landlords and root out the criminals.
“The vast majority of landlords do a good job and provide decent housing for their tenants. That’s why 84 per cent of private tenants are satisfied with their accommodation, a higher proportion than the social rented sector.
“Poor enforcement of the wide range of powers already available means that the minority of landlords who bring the sector into disrepute undercut the majority of good landlords and bring misery to the lives of their tenants. This is what the funding needs to tackle.”
The government says the new funding will be used to support a range of projects that councils have said will help them to ramp up action against criminal operators in the private rental sector – for example, to build relationships with external organisations such as the emergency services, legal services and local housing advocates.
“Councils may also decide to support tenants to take action against poor standards through rent repayment orders, or develop digital solutions, helping officers to report back and make decisions quicker” says the government in a statement announcing the extra resources.