Rogue landlords targeted as hotline launched
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Local Government
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Rogue landlords in Northampton are being told to get their house in order - or face prosecution.
Northampton Borough Council is launching a hotline for people to report landlords that do not care about their tenants, neighbours or the local community.
The move comes as part of a tough new approach which is already seeing council officers taking to the streets in search of rogue landlords and houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)
The council says it is introducing a set of regulations that will give bad landlords no place to hide and force them to think about their neighbours and local communities or face legal action.
The aim is to improve neighbourhoods where there are numerous HMOs and to create safer conditions for tenants.
Councillor Mary Markham, the council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “A rogue landlord can not only make life hell for their tenants, but also an entire neighbourhood. Time and again people are telling us what a problem this where they live. I want people to know that we have listened, and are taking action.
“We want to work with landlords to raise the quality of properties available in Northampton. We have a growing student population, and like other towns we are seeing more and more people renting while they save up for a mortgage.
“So it is important that we send out a clear message that we are welcoming responsible landlords, and will take action to close down those that turn a deaf ear to the welfare of their tenants and neighbours. We now have a team of people out there in the community day in and day out to deal with any problems and this plus the hotline is just the first step, over the next few months we will be looking at what else we can do to raise standards across the town.”
Campbell Robb, chief executive of housing charity Shelter, said: “We are pleased to hear that Northampton Borough Council is committing to firm action against rogue landlords operating in their area. Every day at Shelter we see the devastating impact rogue landlords have on people’s lives, and we’ve been campaigning to urge government and councils to crack down on this small but highly dangerous minority who make people’s lives a misery.
“We urge other councils to follow [its] lead and do everything in their power to crack down on the worst offenders in their area and stamp out rogue landlords for good.”
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