March 8 2014 Latest news:
Kay Atwal, Chief Reporter
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Newham Council has been awarded more than £1 million by the government after impressing it by tackling rogue landlords.
The council successfully applied for funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government to develop its enforcement work. The £1.028m awarded is the biggest amount to any local authority in the country.
Using a combination of planning and housing enforcement legislation, Newham Council has seen great success in combating both rogue landlords and ‘beds in sheds’. This work is complemented by the country’s first compulsory borough wide property licensing scheme which has seen tremendous results with more than 30,000 applications for licences received by the council in its first year.
The cash will be used by the council to increase both its planning and housing enforcement work. It has identified a further 2,000 cases with planning irregularities which will followed up with enforcement action this year.
The authority also plans to improve its property database to ensure activity is targeted on criminal landlords and ‘beds in sheds’. It also plans to work with letting agencies in the borough to ensure they follow both the London Lettings Standard and current guidelines from the Office of Fair Trading.
Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham, said: “Newham is leading the country when it comes to tackling bad landlords who flout the law. This money will allow us to build on our enforcement work and continue to target the criminal landlords operating within Newham. We will never accept the exploitation of some of our most vulnerable residents by unscrupulous landlords who force them to live in dangerous and unacceptable conditions, and we will continue to work to improve the standard of accommodation for all residents across the borough.”