Councils will be able to bid for funding to step up enforcement action against irresponsible landlords.

  • Housing Minister announces £2 million funding boost for councils to tackle rogue landlords
  • Ramping up action against the minority of landlords who force tenants to live in squalid conditions
  • Measures build on action taken by the government to protect renters and drive up standards in the rental sector

Councils across the country will receive extra cash to crackdown on rogue landlords thanks to a new £2 million fund, Housing Minister Heather Wheeler MP has announced today (8 November 2018).

Whilst the majority of landlords provide decent homes for their tenants, a small minority continue to break the law and offer inadequate or unsafe housing – including to young families and others who are vulnerable to exploitation.

Councils will be able to bid for funding to step up enforcement action against irresponsible landlords who make tenants’ lives a misery and to develop and test innovative ways to clamp down on squalid accommodation.

Today’s news builds on government action to drive up standards in the private rented sector – ensuring millions of hard-working tenants get the homes they deserve and creating a housing market that works for everyone.

Housing Minister, Heather Wheeler, MP said:

“Everyone deserves to live in a home that is safe and secure, and it is vital we crack down on the small minority of landlords who are not giving their tenants this security.

This funding will help further strengthen councils’ powers to tackle rogue landlords and ensure that poor-quality homes in their area are improved, making the housing market fairer for everyone.”

Local authorities already have strong powers to require landlords to make necessary improvements to a property and can use a range of measures, including fines and banning orders, to tackle rogue landlords.

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 landlords – 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.

The money will also be used to encourage councils to share best practice of enforcement action and examples of innovative approaches that are self-sustaining and can be easily adapted to other parts of the country.

Further information

There are more than 4.5 million households in the private rented sector in England, with recent statistics showing that 82% of private renters are satisfied with their accommodation.

The fund will help councils take on the most common challenges that stand in the way of tackling poor standards in the private rented sector, including:

  • the need for better information – on housing stock and on landlords and agents operating in their areas
  • data sharing between authorities and agencies – identifying and bringing together different data sets to enable better enforcement targeting
  • internal ‘ways of working’ – improving housing-specific legal expertise, in-house communication between teams, and tools and strategies to effectively implement policy
  • innovative software – for enforcement officers to record their findings, gather evidence and streamline the enforcement process