Five-point plan to undertake dodgy landlords, waiting approval from Grant Shapps

A five-point plan has been suggested to tackle the problem of rogue landlords, and homeless charity Shelter are appealing to Housing Minister Grant Shapps to implement the promises he made in the government’s housing strategy.

Shelter has berated landlords who are taking advantage of the current rental shortage by charging extortionate rates and leaving families to live in dirty and dangerous housing. Chief executive of Shelter Campbell Robb commented that due to such high demand, landlords are able to exploit those in a desperation situation and are potentially putting their lives at risk. His main concerns were the upheaval of families due to this rental shortage and how problems are not challenged due to the worry of being evicted.

The five point plan hopes to include the following steps:

• More time behind bars for criminal landlords by increasing monetary penalties from £5,000 to £20,000

• A special fund for councils to assert more authority over unfair landlords

• Protection for ‘whistleblowing’ tenants who may get evicted

• An online database listing landlords convicted of crimes to warn future tenants

• A conference held by Grant Shapps to address the matter with a clear plan of action

Furthermore, the Residential Landlord Association (RLA) is urging local authorities to seek out these rogue landlords. The RLA believes that the problem stems from a lack of focus on seeking out dodgy landlords and instead trying to meet targets and standards set by the government to license landlords instead . The RLA also thinks that local authorities have a lack of resources to tackle this problem, with only 270 landlords prosecuted last year for crimes.

However, they are also keen to point out that whilst rogue landlords may exist, the majority of tenants in the private sector had little to no problems with their landlords, and it was a small minority who were affected.

Source: flickr / ell brown

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