Alok Sharma

Government announces new measures to crack down on rogue landlords

The government has announced a raft of new measures to crack down on bad practices, stamp out overcrowding and improve standards for those renting in the private sector.

Housing minister Alok Sharma has outlined how – subject to parliamentary clearance – landlords renting properties in England occupied by five or more residents, from two or more separate households will need to be licensed.

The move – which is expected to affect around 160,000 houses – will enable councils to take further action to crack down on dishonest landlords renting sub-standard and overcrowded homes.

The government has also revealed details of criminal offences which, from April, will automatically ban someone from being a landlord.

These include people convicted of offences such as burglary and stalking, with the perpetrators added to the database of rogue landlords and banned from renting properties.

The government will also introduce fines of up to £30,000 for dodgy landlords, protections for tenants from revenge evictions, as well as providing £12m of funding for councils to carry out enforcement action in hotspot areas.

Mr Sharma said: “Every tenant has a right to a safe, secure and decent home.

“But far too many are being exploited by unscrupulous landlords who profit from providing overcrowded, squalid and sometimes dangerous homes.

“Enough is enough and so I’m putting these rogue landlords on notice – shape up or ship out of the rental business.

“Through a raft of new powers, we are giving councils the further tools they need to crack down [on] these rogue landlords and kick them out of the business for good.”

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