Government slammed as north east gets none of £4m rogue landlord fund
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Finance
rundown propertyImage: Housing via Shutterstock
The government has been criticised for failing to give any councils in the north east a share of a £4 million fund provided to help fight rogue landlords.
Lettings agent Ajay Jagota has said it is "very disappointing" to see all of the region's local authorities overlooked.
Housing Minister Kris Hopkins MP recently revealed the £4m pot for 23 local authorities – including Leeds, Sheffield and Nottingham – to take on landlords who rent out dangerous, dirty and overcrowded properties.
Hopkins also announced plans for new legislation that will enable courts to take landlords’ assets into account when levying fines for housing offences, and that will oblige letting agents to join redress schemes for lettings and property management – giving tenants somewhere to turn if they don’t get the service they deserve.
The minister also said that the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors will help develop a voluntary code of property management practice.
But Mr Jagota, of KIS Lettings, believes the proposals give rented housing the opportunity to prove that new regulations are not necessary.
He said: “More than enough rules and regulations exist to protect renters and landlords alike – more than 50 Acts of Parliament alone - the real problem is so often there is no-one to enforce them, so new laws would be unlikely to help – and as bodies like ARLA have proven in the past, regulators aren’t necessarily a silver bullet either.
“If you’re determined to rent out a filthy, unsafe property then paperwork won’t stop you. If you’re a landlord who wouldn’t dream of it, unnecessary red tape and being tarred with the same brush as the corrupt and criminal won’t help either. Giving the authorities the resources to implement the rules we have seems a sensible and workable way forward.
“Much as I would like to see it as a vote of confidence in the North East’s landlords – and it would be completely deserved in all but a handful of cases if it was - it is very disappointing to see every single council in the region ignored and overlooked.
“We deserve the same opportunities as everyone else and responsible agents like KIS, who are committed to clear, up-front fees and providing tenants with a world class service, would welcome any effective measure to takes the rental rogues who shame our industry and make tenants’ lives a misery off our streets”.
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