Council gets

The city council has received a £112,500 boost to tackle rogue landlords in Peterborough.

The funding comes from the Department of Communities and Local Government as part of a £5million project to tackle irresponsible landlords who provide unsafe living conditions, exploit  tenants and damage communities.

The council applied to the fund to help drive more responsible landlord behaviour in Peterborough.

The money will enable the council to visit a large proportion of the homes in areas that are known to have high numbers of rental properties. Officers will talk to tenants and take steps to address any valid concerns.

These visits will take place in the evenings and at weekends when more residents are at home.

The funds will also be used to establish a new training programme for landlords to bring them up to speed on the latest housing legislation and promote best practice in the private rented sector. The council aims to train up to 100 landlords by the end of March.

Investment will also be made to drive enforcement, serving notices on landlords that fall short of standards and driving prosecutions for repeat offenders.

Councillor Peter Hiller, cabinet member for growth, planning, housing and economic development, said: "This is an excellent achievement by our housing team.

"We are determined to deliver major improvements in the areas where unscrupulous landlords are operating.

"Talking to those who live in the areas is an important step in understanding the issues and pursuing those landlords that are not acting in their tenants' best interests."

The council has just finished a consultation on a proposed Selective Licensing scheme. If approved, landlords would have to buy a licence to rent out their property in certain areas of the city, which will give the council better sight of rented homes and opportunities for enforcement.  

In addition, the council has recently announced plans to create a joint enforcement team in the city which will be launched in April.

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