25 Jan 2016

Housing and Planning

Council receives funding to tackle rogue landlords

Bristol City Council has been awarded a grant to target rogue landlords and help protect tenants across the city.


The Department of Communities and Local Government has given the council £135,000 to specifically target the worst properties in the city.


The council investigates unsafe houses and flats every day, but usually it relies upon tenants reporting poor conditions.


This means that some landlords can get away with not complying with the law because their tenants don’t come forward.


This new grant will predominantly be used to allow officers to inspect poor quality flats and maisonettes above restaurants and shops.


Councillor Brenda Massey, Assistant Mayor for People with responsibility for housing, said: “This funding will give a huge boost to the team and their efforts to try and ensure everyone has a safe, comfortable place to call home.


“Experience has shown us that those who do not comply with the law in one aspect of their lives will often not comply elsewhere.


“So owners of poorly managed commercial units will also let out poor quality accommodation above and will possibly engage in criminal activity.


“They will also endeavour to keep their activities as secret as possible, requiring local authorities to engage in targeted proactive enforcement action.”


The council will also use the funding to address other issues which can be associated with this type of accommodation, including antisocial behaviour, tax and benefit fraud, criminal activity, nuisance, human trafficking and child sexual exploitation.


Inspections and raids would be carried out with partners at times when the team expect to gain access, including evenings and weekends.


Following these raids, the council would then be able to take all legal action at its disposal.