Cambridge City Council has launched investigations into over 200 complaints about letting agents and landlords in the last 12 months.
Cambridge has one of the country’s largest private rental sectors.
The investigations range from illegal evictions to harassment, and from poor management practice to properties falling into disrepair.
Of the 204 complaints, 21 cases involved formal notices served under the Housing Act. Complaints regarding five properties resulted in prosecutions, with fines and costs totalling over £43,000.
One prosecution resulted in a landlord being considered no longer fit and proper to hold a license or be involved in the management of higher risk Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).
Over the past year, the Council has licensed 51 HMOs to ensure that they meet the minimum standard required. It is also updating the property accreditation scheme, which provides tenants with the guarantee that the property has been inspected and deemed safe, and the landlord is a fit and proper person.
The Council has also developed a training scheme to help landlords meet their duties and responsibilities, improve the private rental sector and encourage self-management.