EXCL Labour hit out at government’s new ‘50p-per-property’ rogue landlord fund
Labour’s shadow housing minister has slammed a new government fund to help councils tackle rogue landlords, saying the cash amounts to just 50p per property.
The £2m scheme is aimed at supporting local authorities in improving the condition of rental properties in their area by taking on landlords that don’t meet basic standards.
Announcing the policy, Housing Minister Heather Wheeler said: “This funding will help further strengthen councils’ powers to tackle rogue landlords and ensure that poor-quality homes in their area are improved, making the housing market fairer for everyone.”
Official estimates suggest that there are around 10,500 rogue landlords operating in England.
But Labour rubbished the new initiative, saying the cash was not enough to deal with the problem.
Shadow housing minister Melanie Onn told PoliticsHome: “Renters urgently need far more protection against rogue landlords, but this new scheme offers less than 50p per rental household to tackle the problem.
“When we see rogue landlords who repeatedly flout the rules still own a £30m property portfolio, it puts just how little the Government are committing into perspective.
“The Government must start properly funding councils and imposing sentences that reflect the real damage that rogue landlords have on renters lives.”
Jacky Peacock, director of the charity Advice4Renters, told The Guardian: “It’s encouraging that the government recognises the need for local authorities to step up action, although £2m will not go far, given the scale of the problem and the challenges in making a real impact while also protecting the tenants in the properties.”