Derby City Council has proposed a new scheme to help tackle rogue landlords in the area, which could be in operation by the end of the year.
Councillor Baggy Shanker says he is determined to crack down on rogue landlords in Derby and is hoping to replace the existing system, which has been run by the local authority since 2008. Shanker claims the current scheme is no longer “fit for purpose”.
If Labour succeeds in retaining control of the council following this week’s local elections, Shanker pledges to make it much harder for rogue landlords to operate in Derby, by allowing members of the public to freely access an accredited list of private landlords.
Under the present scheme, the council conducts its own research to ensure that landlords are fit and proper. However, the public cannot access this list without contacting the council directly to request feedback about a landlord, including whether or not they are accredited.
Shanker hopes the new proposed scheme would work like an MOT check for both the landlord and their property. An open register would be made available on the council’s website, similar to a Trusted Trader initiative that allows people to check if a firm or tradesperson is considered trustworthy and dependable.
The new landlord list would include health and safety checks, such as ensuring a property has a gas safety certificate, and also checking whether the council has previously received complaints about a landlord, whether they use a deposit scheme, and whether the cost of renting the property is suitable for the area it is in.
Shanker comments: “We are thinking we should work the good landlords, exclude the bad ones and then people will stop using them. Some of the initial feedback [from city landlords] is that they are up for discussing the scheme. We would start it in certain wards: Normanton, Arboretum, Sinfin, some parts of Abbey ward. We may even be able to do it in selected streets.”1