Further Crackdowns on Rogue Landlords

further crackdowns on rogue landlords

further crackdowns on rogue landlords

Latest Landlord News by: Madalena Penny


Local authorities across the UK are stepping up campaigns to overhaul properties rented out by private landlords.  Last week, housing enforcement staff at Derby City Council announced they had been called in to inspect up to 700 homes in the borough in the last 12 months due to complaints about sub-standard housing from tenants.

As a result of the inspections, 250 homes were slapped with an improvement order out of the 350 they inspected.  As was the case in a majority of properties, landlords took the necessary steps and fixed the problem immediately.

Landlords either through ignorance or design are advised that when carrying out periodical property checks on tenants, they should also carry out a questionnaire with tenants on any problems they have about the property and ascertain if any structural, damp, heating etc is affecting the tenant in question.  If a landlord is in doubt about a tenant query relating to a housing problem, an assessment by a professional tradesman is the best route to go.  Ensure that the tenant has signed the questionnaire along with an agent or landlord signature.

With the onus on rogue landlords and the need to strike them and their unethical practices from the sector, a balance needs to be struck between both tenants and their landlords.  In Merseyside earlier this year, a consultant at Legal 4 Landlords intercepted a case whereas the tenant had accrued 10 weeks rent arrears by withholding housing benefit from the landlord.  It transpired later on that the tenant’s excuse was due to some broken kitchen tiles that the landlord had not addressed.  The landlord was adamant that no such query had been relayed to him.

At the other end of the spectrum, as was the case last week, some landlords have gotten away with the worst housing offences imaginable.  Ordered to pay £30,000 costs, 200 community service hours and a two-year suspended sentence, landlord Steve Boot of Nuneaton had failed to provide his tenant in Coventry with heating and hot-water for 2-years.  To make matters worst, the tenant lived with damp, mould and collapsed ceilings, though it beggars belief why something wasn’t said or done earlier.

As more tenants enter into private rented accommodation and landlords increase their portfolios, so is the need for a more progressive and methodical strategy for measuring performance, as any other business.

Private landlords are advised to check that EPC’s, gas safety, electrical checks and general health, safety and environmental inspection and maintenance is routinely carried out; that building insurance is up-to-date and that in the case of HMO’s, fire alarms, smoke detectors and landlord provided furnishings are compliant with UK regulations.