The Labour MP who chairs the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee in the House of Commons is pressing the government to explain what it is doing to combat rogue landlords in the private rental sector.
Clive Betts MP, in his capacity as chair of the committee, has written to Housing Secretary James Brokenshire claiming that the all-party committee is “increasingly concerned that government efforts to protect the most vulnerable tenants in the sector are not working.”
In his letter Betts cites an ITV and Guardian newspaper investigation last month, which suggested that landlords who had been ruled unfit to let out private properties continued to do so and to collect rent, sometimes paid from housing benefit.
The investigation also alleged that some rogue landlords ‘skipped’ from one local authority (where they had been banned) to another (where they had not).
Betts has now asked Brokenshire to say how many landlords have been entered on to the government’s much publicised database of rogue operators since its launch this year.
“We believe it is important for the government to take steps to ensure that the new rights granted … are not illusory, and that tenants – especially those who are most vulnerable – are able to enforce them in practice … Tenants in the private rented sector need far greater protections from retaliatory eviction, rent increases and harassment from their landlords” says Betts.
The select committee will discuss a recent report on the private rental sector, and government actions relating to it, on November 29.