Reading council launches crackdown on rogue landlords

by Sarah Ashcroft

Landlords operating in Reading could be set to face tougher sanctions from officials following the launch of a clampdown that aims to ensure that tenants are being treated fairly.

The town's local authority has signed up to a new campaign by housing charity Shelter to encourage higher standards for those individuals who rent properties, reports Get Reading Online.

In order to highlight its dedication to the initiative, Reading Borough Council highlighted measures it has already taken to clamp down on rogue proprietors, as well as giving evidence of its commitment in a message to the organisation.

The local authority reported one landlord who was fined more than £2,000 in January 2012 for committing a series of offenses under the Houses in Multiple Occupation laws after receiving complaints from a tenant who was living in an unsuitable dwelling that was in need of repair.

In addition, Reading officials charged one property owner for 20 offences relating to his portfolio - including a damaged electrical socket, cooker and smoke detector in just one home.

For this reason, council workers have vowed to carry out tasks outlined by Shelter to take action and keep tenants protected.

The local authority will enforce legislation that already exists, while inspecting properties to ensure that they are appropriate for individuals to move into.

Furthermore, the governing body announced that it will introduce a landlord's accreditation scheme and publicise a tougher stance on rogue operations in the local media.

Commenting on the scheme, Roger Harding - head of policy, research and public affairs at Shelter, said: "We are pleased to hear that Reading Borough Council are committing to firm action against rogue landlords operating in their area.

"Every day at Shelter we see the devastating impact rogue landlords have on people's lives and we've been campaigning to urge government and councils to crack down on the small but highly dangerous minority of landlords who make people's lives a misery."

Landlords can get expert advice on their legal obligations as a landlord with Lawpack's Residential Lettings Guide. Written by a landlord and tenant solicitor, it outlines landlords' responsibilities regarding safety, disturbing the tenants and much, much more.

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Published on: November 8, 2012

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