Law News

Funding to tackle criminal landlords welcomed but nowhere near enough

Em Morley - January 6, 2020

The provision of Government funding to root out criminal landlords may be welcome but is it enough to tackle the scale of the problem? The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) does not think so.

With ministers confirming yesterday that more than 100 local authorities in England will share £4 million in new funding, the Government is expecting this to help “crackdown on criminal landlords”.

This focus on rooting them out has been welcomed by the RLA, but the organisation warns that the amount is nowhere near enough to tackle the crooks.

For some time now it has been raised to Ministers by the RLA that proper, multi-year funding needs to be provided for councils. This will enable them to plan long-term strategies to permanently root out criminal landlords who are bringing the sector into disrepute. This must involve sufficient funds to boost the number and skills of Environmental Health Officers.

David Smith, Policy Director for the Residential Landlords Association, has commented: “We welcome the Government’s focus on rooting out criminal landlords. 

“For too long the debate has been driven by ideological calls for more regulation of the sector. What is needed is better enforcement of the powers already available to tackle the minority who bring the sector into disrepute.

“Today’s (Thursday 2nd January 2020) funding though is nowhere near enough. Instead of offering inadequate and sporadic pots of money, it is critical that the Government provides proper, multi-year funding to enable councils to plan and prepare workable strategies to find the criminal landlords. 

“This should be supported by councils having the political will to prioritise enforcement against the crooks rather than tying good landlords up in licensing schemes which do nothing to protect tenants.”