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NEW: London Mayor urged to clamp down on rogue exempt accommodation landlords

london assembly housing

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has been urged to clamp down on rogue exempt accommodation providers who exploit the housing benefit system and put vulnerable tenants at risk.

An investigation by the London Assembly Housing Committee found some rogue providers were disregarding their safeguarding responsibilities and, in some cases, actively targeting vulnerable people and placing them in unsuitable, dangerous housing.

Supported '� or exempt '� accommodation is non-commissioned and unregulated housing where tenants include ex-prisoners, addicts, rough sleepers and fleeing survivors of domestic abuse.

Providers can charge astronomical rents to local councils '� often �500 to �700 a week - but boroughs have no way of knowing if the care or housing provided is of good quality or value for money.

Together, the capital's authorities have spent at least �107 million on exempt accommodation in the last year alone, with data from 22 boroughs suggesting this covers about 17,100 households.

rogue landlord

The committee urges the Mayor and Greater London Authority (GLA) to broaden use of its '�report a rogue landlord' and '�rogue landlord checker' tool by allowing reporting and checking of exempt accommodation landlords.

It backs the Supported Housing (Regulatory Oversight) Bill '� which is due to have its second reading in the House of Lords - and believes new regulation would give local authorities more powers to challenge poor quality providers.

Last November, the government launched its �20 million fund which aims to help councils crack down on landlords who exploit the supported housing system but fail to support their vulnerable residents. They now face a ban or �30,000 fine.

Committee chair Sem Moema (pictured) says the investigation's findings are deeply troubling.

She adds: 'Some rogue agents are treating exempt accommodation as a licence to print money, resulting in poor quality housing, a disregard for the appropriate support and safeguarding, and a dangerous environment for the vulnerable Londoners living there.'�

Read the report


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