Residents consulted over rogue landlords
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Local Government, Regulation
bad housingImage: bad housing via Shutterstock
Residents of Northampton are being asked if they would like to see more powers used to tackle rogue landlords.
Presently Northampton Borough Council only has the power to license three-storey houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). The local authority's proposed new powers would see the same rules and standards applied to HMOs of all sizes.
Under the proposed powers, the council would be able to make landlords accountable for the actions of their tenants, covering anti-social behaviour such as noise, putting too many refuse bags out or blocking up street parking spaces.
According to the council, the powers would also be an opportunity to bring in standards that would protect tenants and neighbours by making more landlords responsible for the appearance of their property, stopping overcrowding and making sure repairs are completed.
Councillor Mary Markham, the council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “It is time to take a good look the standard of accommodation available in Northampton. In the first few days of our new hotline we have seen reports of landlords allowing anti-social behaviour, letting their property go to rack and ruin or being uncontactable when neighbours want to raise concerns.
“With reports like this it is clear that standards need to be raised, and more properties should be licensed so we can take action against irresponsible landlords.
“Unfortunately there are landlords who are taking advantage of the market and are only interested in how much money they can make. It is time for a change.
“We must recognise the good landlords who invest in their property and care about their tenants and the community. And bring in powers to crackdown on the bad landlords who are making life a misery for their tenants and whole neighbourhoods.
“We already have a team of officers visiting parts of our town and looking for problems we can take action against. With additional powers we can look at setting a high standard for all landlords to meet if they want to rent out their property in our town."