Shropshire Star

Borough council moves to crack down on rogue landlords and improve housing conditions

Telford & Wrekin Council has revealed its work to improve housing conditions in the private rented sector and how it has tackled unlawful landlords in the last 12 months.

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An update on the 'Better Homes For All Programme' has recommended updates to the council's Private Sector Housing policy that includes an amended fee structure for civil penalties and electrical safety regulations.

The programme was introduced in 2018, before being updated two years later, to improve conditions in the growing private rented sector within the borough.

Aiming to help residents to create 'Better Homes For All', the council says that it has addressed 597 requests for service from tenants living in poor housing conditions in the last 12 months.

The council also revealed that it has carried out 412 inspections of properties and identified a total of 480 hazards that include fall risks, damp and mould, and fire hazards. Telford & Wrekin Council conducted 64 proactive inspections of houses in the last year.

Additionally, the council has tackled rogue landlords and agents who don't adhere to the rules by issuing 156 enforcement notices, 44 houses in multiple occupation licences and 12 civil penalty notices in the last 12 months.

The council also prosecuted a local letting agency.

A total of 232 long-term empty properties have been brought back into the use since the launch of the 'Better Homes For All' programme'.

Telford & Wrekin Council's deputy leader and cabinet member for homes, enforcement and customer services, Richard Overton, said: "Through our Better Homes For All programme, we remain committed to building safer, stronger and healthier communities while protecting and enhancing our environment and neighbourhoods.

"The private rented sector has doubled in size over the last 10 years and as home ownership continues to be unaffordable, along with a decline in social housing, it means the private rented sector is plugging an essential gap in the market.

"We acknowledge that the majority of landlords operate legally and ensure their properties meet the correct standards and our Better Homes for All programme works to educate and encourage before we move to enforcement.

"This report highlights the work undertaken by the council in the last 12 months to support our residents in rented accommodation and both support and hold landlords to account."