John welcomes funding to tackle rogue landlords

John Healey has welcomed funding that will improve private rented housing and crack down on bad landlords in Goldthorpe.

Barnsley Council has received £230,000 from the Government for a project focusing on Goldthorpe, Wombwell and Barnsley town centre.

But the Dearne MP and former housing minister warned that the Coalition Government had relaxed planning powers Labour put in place.

He said: “Many people in Goldthorpe are concerned at problems caused by bad private rented housing so they will welcome the crackdown the council are planning.

“Reports about bad landlords are increasing, and this is dragging down the names of those who treat their tenants fairly.

“But the government has actually cut back regulation in this area, making it easier for property owners to convert their house into multiple flats and fill them with tenants, without consideration for the neighbourhood and local services.”

Barnsley Council has identified the areas as ‘hot spots’ where they think ‘rogue landlords’ may be operating.

‘Blitz’ operations are planned involving the council, police, firefighters, probation service and benefit and energy checks.

The crackdown will also include inspections, an accreditation of landlords scheme, the enforcement of repairs where work isn’t done voluntarily, and encouraging owners to bring empty homes back into use.

The council hope the crackdown will reduce crime and anti-social behaviour and improve the condition of private rented houses, people’s health and the wider environment.

Mr Healey received a letter from the housing minister Kris Hopkins MP informing him that the money had been allocated to Barnsley Council “to help them tackle rogue landlord activity.”

It is part of £4m to crack down on landlords who rent out dangerous and overcrowded properties. Mr Hopkins said this can lead to problems with noise, sanitation, benefit fraud and anti-social behaviour.