Crack Down on Criminal Landlords and Letting Agents
The Housing Secretary, Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, has recently announced more than £4 million of funding will be provided to local councils in England and Wales to tackle exploitive landlords and letting agents. The majority of landlords provide decent and liveable residential properties for their tenants. However, a minority of landlords and letting agents are persistently breaking the law which makes tenants’ lives, and their families’ lives, a misery by offering inadequate or unsafe housing.
The UK Government is using this initiative to improve lives for tenants and their families. It is interesting to note that the local councils which have been provided the most amount of funding is: Northampton Borough Council, London Borough of Ealing, East Kent Consortium (Ashford Borough Council, Dover District Council, Dartford Borough Council and more), City of Wolverhampton Council and Westminster City Council. All of the above Councils have received more than £150,000 in funding which will be used to recruit and train enforcement officers across the regions to ensure standards are being met by landlords and letting agents.
The councils which have received the least amount of funding, although this does not mean that there are no criminal landlords or exploitative letting agents who are breaking the law, are: St Helens Council, Lichfield District Council, Burnley Borough Council, North East Lincolnshire Council and Rushmoor Borough Council. All of the above Councils have received less than £10,000 in funding. The money will be spent on improving the knowledge of tenants in the area by using extensive social media campaigns and delivering bespoke training to support landlords with their responsibilities.
The UK Government is currently consulting on whether a specialist Housing Court should be introduced. The UK Government wants to explore whether a new Housing court could improve court processes, make it quicker and cheaper to resolve disputes; particularly for landlords and tenants.
Usman Anwar, Commercial Litigation Solicitor, states that: “The introduction of further funding by the UK Government has shown a clear intention to crack down on rogue landlords and letting agents. With the price of houses increasing year on year, in particular in major cities, it is clear more people are preferring to rent, rather than purchase a house. It is vital that landlords provide liveable conditions for tenants and comply with the law. It is clear that the UK Government is creating a more tenant supportive environment, in particular, by abolishing Section 21 evictions – so called ‘no-fault’ evictions.”
In the last 12 months Pearson Solicitors have received a surge in enquiries by landlords receiving notices from local councils for various breaches, and from tenants seeking to pursue a landlord for housing disrepair, or a claim against the landlord for failing to follow the rules relating to the registration of a deposit.
Pearson offer specialist landlord and tenant advice for residential properties and are more than happy to assist both landlords and tenants with any eviction process.
For further help and advice on landlord and tenant disputes, please contact our Commercial Litigation Team and speak to Usman Anwar on 0161 785 3500 or email Usman.Anwar@pearsonlegal.co.uk
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Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.
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