Slum landlords 'should be punished'

by Daniel Jones

The Liberal Democrats in Bradford have suggested that more must now be done to crackdown on landlords who allow "slum" accommodation to be rented to tenants.

Councillor Jeanette Sunderland said that Bradford Council should bring in a new scheme that requires landlords to have a licence for their rental properties, as this should help to drive up standards, reports the Telegraph & Argus.

However, the two other main parties didn't agree with her suggestion, with the ruling Labour party dismissing it and the Conservatives describing it as "bonkers".

She spoke at a recent council meeting and tabled an amendment that urged the council to get tougher on those landlords who shirk their responsibilities.

A new landlord accreditation scheme was provided as the ideal solution, as the new Housing and Homelessness Strategy doesn't go far enough.

The strategy has been drawn up with four main aims in mind:

  1. To provide more homes
  2. To tackle poor-quality accommodation
  3. To ensure homes are affordable to people and
  4. To support independence.

Councillor Sunderland said: "There are still people living in unfit properties with poor landlords that have to be tackled and there are communities that do not feel safe."

Labour's executive member for housing, councillor Val Slater, said that the idea was like using "a sledgehammer to crack a nut", adding: "Yes, I agree we have a few nuts we need dealing with, but we have got other ways of dealing with them."

Councillor Simon Cooke, housing spokesman for the Conservatives, said that one problem attached to a licensing scheme is that the cost of implementing it would likely be handed on to landlords, who would in turn pass it on to tenants, forcing the cost of renting in Bradford up.

In order to stay out of trouble, landlords should ensure that their properties are fit for purpose at all times and meet all of the necessary health and safety requirements.

Published on: March 27, 2014

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