A controversial Labour-controlled local authority which already has 91 per cent of its private rental properties inside licensing schemes is now using ‘data-driven’ technology to prioritise which unlicensed landlords to penalise first.
Nottingham council has recently suffered national headlines surrounding the introduction of its latest licensing scheme - the second largest outside London.
The most recent expansion of the scheme, in August, prompted uproar when thousands of applicants had been sent back due to what the council called “paperwork errors.”
Even now, many months after its introduction, some 17,000 properties remain unlicensed according to the council’s own figures.
Now it is using government cash to pay for an online tool that will apparently prioritise high-risk properties for enforcement action by using multiple layers of data from council departments, and other groups such as the fire and police services.
The technology is being created in partnership with the University of Nottingham.
The council hopes this scheme will help identify which of these properties are highest risk so it can then use regulatory and enforcement powers it already has to bring about improvements in those homes.
Councillor Toby Neal, portfolio holder for community protection, says: “We are at the forefront when it comes to tackling rogue landlords and just last year investigated and improved over 750 properties across the city after receiving complaints, as well as carrying out a range of civil enforcement action and criminal prosecutions.
“This data modelling tool will step up our fight against rogue landlords by using the best possible intelligence to tackle them and poor housing conditions in areas where there are associated problems such as high repeated crime and issues of anti-social behaviour.
“It means there can be an effective multi-agency response, allowing for the police and other enforcement agencies to take action together to tackle a range of issues such as dangerous and poor housing conditions, overcrowding, modern slavery, trafficking, organised crime and anti-social behaviour.”