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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

“Not enough!” - new cash to police rental sector deemed insufficient

A leading trade body says the government’s latest injection of funds to help local councils root out rogue operators in the private rental sector is simply not enough.

Earlier this week the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government revealed that an additional £3.8m of public money would be open for councils to bid for; this could be used for staffing, PropTech or other measures to - in the words of Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick - “crackdown on criminal landlords”.

But while the Residential Landlords Association welcomes the move, it warns that the amount simply is not enough to properly find and root out the crooks.

The funding comes just as the RLA has shown that whilst the number of regulations imposing new obligations on landlords has increased by a third since 2010, with councils allegedly failing to properly use them.

David Smith, policy director for the Residential Landlords Association, says: “We welcome the Government’s focus on rooting out criminal landlords. For too long the debate has been driven by ideological calls for more regulation of the sector. 

“What is needed is better enforcement of the powers already available to root out the minority who bring the sector into disrepute.

“That said [the new] funding is simply not enough to achieve this. Rather than throwing odd bits of cash around the government needs to provide proper, multi-year funding to councils to enable them to plan and prepare clear strategies to find the crooks whilst supporting good landlords. 

“This includes ensuring enough funding is in place to recruit sufficient numbers of well-trained enforcement officers.”

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has written to local authorities asking them to apply for a share of the funds “to crack down on these [criminal] landlords to get them to improve or to leave the market completely.”

He adds: “This funding will continue to stimulate new thinking and further encourage innovative and targeted approaches in the Private Rented Sector, driving out criminal landlords and enabling the majority of landlords to continue to provide safe and decent homes for their tenants. I encourage you to apply.”

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    Letting problems are developing into a vast, expensive industry which can only, ultimately, be funded by the tenants. Most people simply do not care what is going on as long as they are housed. Unfortunately there are people who do not know how to look after a house but there are better ways to solve that rather than councils setting up a vastly expensive quango system. All the money for that would be better spent directly

    You can not legislate for ignorance in all its manifestations. Mental health is a real problem for landlords and of course those suffering. No landlord, private, public or business can afford to constantly keep repairing a property. These are two immutable facts.

    If you travel the world (not on holiday) you will find low cost slum housing which is normal in warmer climates. It doesn't work in cold wet UK but landlords from those far off places are now operating in the here. I stop at that point.

  • Paul Barrett

    Good LL want the rogue ones driven out of business.
    That will then enable LL to jack up rents to realistic levels to pay for the decent quality properties that good LL provide.
    Rogue LL are bad for business.
    We good LL want them gone ASAP.
    We need far more enforcement.
    That doesn't mean rogue LL need to be fined.
    They will be 'persuaded' by the fine 'big stick' to become compliant.
    Only in extremis if a a LL refuses to comply with council requirements will the fine 'bjg stick' be needed.

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