Duncan Lewis

Residential Property

Commercial Property

Guidelines to clampdown illegal renting by rogue landlords

Date: (6 September 2012)    |    

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A new guidelines to councils, making clear the wide range of powers at their disposal to tackle the so called ‘beds in sheds’ has been launched by the Housing Minister Grant Shapps and Immigration Minister Damien Green.
The clampdown on rogue landlords who were renting out dangerous and unsuitable living conditions for vulnerable tenants with poor maintenance and overcrowding was announced after Mr Shapps and Mr Green had witnessed for themselves the squalid conditions the tenants were living in paying hundreds of pounds a week to live in. They ministers had attended an early morning visit to a suspected rogue landlord’s premises.
While visiting six properties, officials from Ealing Council and the UK Border Agency encountered 39 individual tenants, 22 of whom were illegal immigrants:
The new guidance highlights the range of actions councils can take to clamp down on rogue landlords once and for all. These include proactive approach to identify problem properties and work through complaints, taking action against landlord’s activities with all available powers, working with other agencies to tackle criminal behaviour, prosecuting landlords who persistently let illegal property, providing evidence of landlords earnings to courts so as to be given right fines for offences, making the names of rogue landlords public in successful cases and working with the new national taskforce which has been set up between Whitehall departments, the police, the UK Border Agency and local government. The taskforce is exploring all possible options for closing down 'beds in sheds'.
Thousands of sheds and outbuildings were being rented out illegally to vulnerable migrants by ruthless landlords who charge them extortionate rents to live in cramped conditions.
These 'tenants' can often find it difficult to return home quickly, with some having destroyed their passports to avoid removal, often leaving them to either live in these outbuildings or face living on the streets.
Grant Shapps said that it was simply unacceptable that people should be living in squalid, unsafe accommodation provided by landlords more interested in a quick profit rather then their basic responsibilities.
Damien Green said that operations like this show government’s determination to do whatever was necessary, working alongside local authorities and police, to enforce the laws against those who were in the UK illegally.
He added UK Border Agency continues to gather intelligence about those illegally in the country. And try to remove them if they don’t leave the country by themselves. Those with no right to be in the UK must leave the country. The guidance is being backed up by the recent allocation of £1.8million to councils earlier this year to tackle the issue and flush out those landlords renting out 'beds in sheds'.