Funding to help tackle ‘Dickensian’ landlords

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Efforts to tackle rogue landlords in South Yorkshire are receiving a funding boost of almost £400,000 as part of a Government project to tackle the problem.

Sheffield Council is receiving £145,000 and Barnsley Council £230,000 to pay for work to track down landlords of overcrowded and unsafe accommodation and take action against them.

The cash is part of £4 million being allocated to councils around the country.

Housing minister Kris Hopkins announced the funding alongside tougher legislation to control private landlords.

He said: “The majority of tenants are happy with their home, but the private rental market is still afflicted by too many ‘unscrupulous Scrooges’: miserly landlords who rent dangerous, dirty and overcrowded properties without a thought for the welfare of their tenants.

“That’s why we’re providing 23 councils with funding so they can root out the cowboys and rogue operators in their area, and consign these scenes of Dickensian destitution to the history books.

“We also want to raise the quality and choice of rental accommodation.

“Our measures will continue our progress, ensuring tenants know what level of service they can expect and, if things do go wrong, giving them the confidence to get help.”

Landlords are now subject to legislation which came into force recently, allowing courts to take account of landlords’ assets, as well as their income, when levying fines for housing offences.

An approval scheme for letting agencies and voluntary code of practice for property management are also planned.