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Next Government 'must fund better enforcement of rogue landlords'

rogue landlords

Rogue landlords continue to give the sector a bad name because many councils enforce private rented sector standards weakly or not at all, a new report has claimed.

Freedom of Information data obtained by the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has found that between 2021 and 2023 only a third of complaints raised by tenants were responded to with an HHSRS inspection.

This is the system through which local authorities can carry out inspections to identify hazards in rented properties following a complaint by a tenant.

Councils can then compel the landlord to act where problems are discovered.

But the data reveals how weak and ‘postcode lottery’ the effort is.  Half of all inspections conducted under the HHSRS were carried out by only a handful of councils, and 16 per cent were unable to provide any inspection figures.

Rogue landlords

Urging improved enforcement against rogue and criminal landlords, the NRLA says the next Government must take action to weed out rogue landlords.

Councils should also be required to publish annual reports on their enforcement activity within the private rented sector, the NRLA says. Also, it wants a new national Chief Environmental Health Officer to oversee better enforcement.

“No renters should ever have to put up with unsafe housing,” says Ben Beadle (pictured), Chief Executive of the NRLA.

“While ultimately it is landlords who are responsible for the quality of the housing they provide, tenants must have confidence in councils’ ability to act when renters require assistance.”

“Our research paints a worrying picture of councils under strain struggling to respond as they should to tenant complaints.”

Why councils must take enforcement seriously.


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