by Daniel Jones
Landlords in parts of Lancashire who allow their rental properties to fall into an unacceptable state have been warned that they are going to be placed under far more scrutiny than before.
The government has approved a £109,000 fund to be used in Burnley, Hyndburn, Blackburn and Pendle in order to crack down on unfit housing and ensure that the enforcement of residential letting regulations takes place, reports the Burnley Express.
Burnley and Pendle have already decided to team up and pool their share of the cash in order to pay for an enforcement officer who will inspect local rental properties and work on improving their condition, if required.
Once the enforcement officer is appointed, he or she will be tasked with operating alongside landlords who are renting out homes that are not up to scratch, despite the fact that tenants are already in place.
Councillor Howard Baker, executive member for housing and environment at Burnley Council, said: "The vast majority of landlords keep their properties in good condition. However, we know there are some poor quality properties out there as well, with tenants living in unacceptable conditions."
He went on to explain that all landlords have a duty to keep their properties up to an acceptable standard and they must live with the consequences if they don't. After all, it's unfair to expect anyone to live in below-par conditions as a result of the laziness of their landlord.
The enforcement officer will investigate complaints made by existing tenants, before embarking on a project to work with landlords with the aim of making any improvements that are required.
If landlords are unwilling to take part and make necessary repairs, the council has the power to issue an enforcement notice that will force their hands. Should they continue to refuse, they can be taken to court.
Councillor Baker added that the local authority now wants to hear from anyone who thinks their accommodation may be below an acceptable standard.
Published on: January 27, 2014