Policy briefing: Asserting authority - calling time on rogue landlords
By: Robbie de Santos Published: September 2011
Shelter is concerned about the state of the private rented sector. Local authorities dealt with more than 86,000 complaints from private tenants in 2010/11; yet, wider research finds that over 350,000 private renters experienced housing problems in the same year.
The sector is blighted by a large number of amateur landlords failing to offer good standards to their tenants, and a small minority of rogue landlords who deliberately prey on the vulnerable. Local authorities have told us they are aware of some 1,477 serial rogue landlords. Yet, in the past year only 270 landlords were prosecuted and tough enforcement activity made up a small proportion of local authorities' activity. Many landlords are therefore not receiving a clear message that bad practice will not be tolerated.
This briefing exposes the scale and the nature of problems in the private rented sector, analyses local authorities' responses to problems with landlords in their area, and explores the barriers that local authorities face in taking tough action and how they can be overcome. Finally, it makes recommendations to national and local government on the measures needed to stamp out rogue landlords once and for all.