The government has shared out £14 million between seven areas in England to crack down on rogue landlords and help councils drive up standards.
Funding includes £2.3 million for Greater Manchester – including Rochdale and the surrounding councils – to increase the use of fines for offending landlords; £678,000 for Leeds to use ‘behavioural science’ to change culture among landlords, improving knowledge and skills; and £1.14 million for Cornwall to create a database of private rented accommodation and record standards to target better enforcement action.
Other areas in line for a cash handout are Derbyshire Dales, Eden, Liverpool and Ryedale.
Speaking on the Today programme, Housing Secretary Michael Gove said it wanted to make sure that renters in the PRS were confident local government was on their side and standing up for them.
“We have a commitment to protect people in the private rented sector more effectively – it’s vitally important that we stand up for tenants,” said Gove, agreeing that there was a concern some people were too frightened to complain to their landlord.
“We are going to be bringing forward more legislation to improve the position of people in the private rented sector. Legislation will also ensure those landlords dealing with the tiny minority of tenants who are anti-social or deliberately not paying rent can also be dealt with as well.”
However, the minister would not be drawn on a date for the long-awaited Renters’ Reform Bill which he only promised would, “come in the next calendar year – 2023”.
Earlier this week, he wrote to all councils and housing associations, telling them they must raise the bar dramatically on standards and demanding urgent action where tenants complain about damp and mould.