Funding boost for ‘Better Homes For All’
Telford & Wrekin Council has been awarded nearly £400,000 to help it deliver a package of measures to tackle rogue landlords and letting agents.
The Council’s ‘Better Homes For All’ package is one of a number of schemes to benefit from the latest round of grants from the Government.
‘Better Homes For All’ was approved by Telford & Wrekin Council’s Cabinet on Thursday 15 February to improve housing in the private rented sector.
It includes a number of measures, one of which is the setting up of a new Rogue Landlord Taskforce; additional officers for the Council’s Housing team to focus solely on private rented housing standards across the borough. Their role will be to hold all private sector landlords and letting agents to account and ensure they provide good conditions for their tenants. Their positions will be funded by the newly announced grant of £388,925 .
Cllr Lee Carter, Telford & Wrekin Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance, Commercial Services & Economic Development said: “This bid from Government will help us to transform the private rented sector in Telford and Wrekin by improving landlords’ and agents’ management of properties to ensure that accommodation is managed effectively; providing information to tenants on their rights and responsibilities; building a profile of landlords and agents operating poorly within borough; and tackling rogue landlords and associated criminal activity. It will help us in our journey towards securing better housing standards in the private rented sector.”
Cllr Richard Overton, Telford & Wrekin Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Enforcement said: “We welcome this funding for the new Rogue Landlords Taskforce. By having these additional officers, we will have time and the ability to work more closely with the borough’s good landlords, letting agents and tenants, build intelligence on the rogues.
“When the poorly behaving landlords and letting agents have been identified, our officers will, firstly try to engage and educate, but will resort to enforcement when necessary.
“This increase in officers will allow us to build relationships by having the time to work partner agencies such as West Mercia Police, Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service, Insolvency Service, HMRC, West Midlands UK Border Agency and the Gangmasters Licensing Authority to share information, knowledge and action plans.”