EFFORTS to take action against rogue landlords in Reading have been given a £100,000 boost.
Reading Borough Council has been successful in bidding for a share of the government’s Rogue Landlord Enforcement Grant Fund.
The cash will allow the Council’s Private Sector Housing team to introduce a range of measures to help officers investigate and take action against property landlords flouting the rules.
The funding awarded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) will allow the Council to undertake a new Stock Conditions Survey to provide key information on the trends and changes in the private housing sector in Reading.
This work will enable officers to target areas for enforcement more effectively and provide intelligence for other services, such as Housing to enable them to have a clear understanding of the market and support residents into suitable housing. The last Stock Conditions Survey was carried out in 2012.
The grant will also enable the introduction of a new online system to assist with processing HMO licence applications in a more streamlined and efficient way, which will allow officers more time to concentrate on enforcement rather than administration. The new system will also make it easier for landlords and agents to submit their applications and supporting documents.
Cash will also be allocated for a number of interactive videos aimed at assisting landlords and tenants manage common disrepair issues such as damp and mould, security and fire safety. Some funding will be made available to assist vulnerable residents in the private rented sector to keep their homes.
Cllr John Ennis, Lead Councillor for Housing, said:
“Reading’s Private Sector Housing team have a good track record of enforcement against rogue landlords and this extra cash will allow them to build on that success.
“The grant will help officers focus their efforts on particular areas identified by the stock condition survey and to spend more time on enforcement and less time processing paperwork. The extra cash will also help vulnerable residents, tenants and landlords directly.
“The private rental sector is very important in Reading and most landlords provide good quality homes but the Council will continue to tackle those few rogue landlords who make their tenants’ lives a misery.”
The MHCLG grant must be spent in this financial year.