A local authority has taken the unusual step of naming seven buy to let landlords prosecuted in the past month in connection with a selective licensing scheme.
Rotherham introduced a mandatory selective licensing scheme to cover parts of the town in May 2015 and is consulting on expanding the scheme.
Licences are issued to those who meet a number of criteria including carrying out annual gas safety checks; an electrical safety check; providing energy performance certificates; fitting and maintaining smoke detectors and providing occupants with a written tenancy agreement.
The council claims that 91 per cent of the homes inspected in the first selective licensing areas required action to make them safe; 10 properties were found to be an imminent and serious risk to the safety of tenants and had to be closed to occupation.
Now it has named seven landlords prosecuted for a range of offences - each has been fined between £1,000 and £2,275.
“The selective licensing scheme is designed to improve the lives of tenants and their local communities. We know that in many areas vulnerable residents face some specific problems, often including poor health, which can be made worse by poor quality housing” says Dominic Beck, the council’s cabinet member for housing.
“Selective licensing is one tool that enables the council to intervene and drive up standards, to the benefit of the wider community as well as tenants themselves. There are of course many good landlords in the private sector but our aim is to drive up standards and, where we find faults, we will take action.”