Councils Should Combat Criminal Landlords

Councils need to increase their efforts in combatting rogue landlords says the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).

Citing a report from Citizens Advice, the RLA are pushing for increased council activity against ‘criminal landlords’ letting substandard accommodation and decreasing the quality of the sector. The report states that although many landlords are quick to deal with tenant issues, some are still taking too long to resolve defects with the properties.

The survey of over 2,000 private renting adults in England found that 27 per cent of reported problems took over a month to resolve. Furthermore, it was revealed that when these tenants took matters into their own hands and resolved the problems themselves, half were not refunded by their landlords.

A Freedom of Information request (FoI) made last year by the RLA discovered that 126 out of the 237 councils that responded had not brought a single prosecution against landlords between 2011 and 2014.

Chairman of the RLA, Alan Ward, called on councils to use their powers to crack down on landlords failing to do their jobs correctly. He said: ‘Every tenant has the right to expect a safe, legal and secure home. Whilst the majority of landlords provide a good service to their tenants, there are a minority who do not, and who have no place in a modern rental sector. Councils have the powers to do something about them. What is needed is a greater will to use these powers to root out the criminal landlords once and for all.’

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