Liverpool City Council has launched a new taskforce to go after criminal landlords who exploit vulnerable tenants.
The Private Sector Housing Intelligence and Enforcement Task Force aims to “disrupt landlords” who work with gangmasters and those involved in other types of exploitation, such as sex work and drug dealing.
A newly recruited team will tackle the most complex cases, where tenants are often afraid to report crimes for fear of reprisals. Separate to the landlord licensing scheme, it will gather intelligence and carry out targeted enforcement to drive bad landlords out of the market and will also work with neighbouring authorities.
The council is using a £2 million government grant for the initiative which will see it collaborating with partners and organisations including trading standards, children’s services and Merseyside police to share information and take action.
Cabinet member for housing, councillor Sarah Doyle (pictured), says the taskforce is about tackling criminal rogue landlords who don’t care about their tenants, or the city.
"These people exploit tenants for their own financial gain, taking advantage of extremely vulnerable tenants who are afraid to speak out because they are terrified of the consequences", she explains.
“Due to the nature of the issues we are dealing with, drawing up evidence is extremely time consuming and complicated, which is why we have secured funding for a dedicated team to work specifically on this.
“We all want the best for the city, and by working closely with partner organisations we can and will make a real difference to vulnerable people and help drive rogue landlords out of Liverpool.”