Government recognition for council's rogue landlords work
Boston Borough Council's work over the past few years to get rogue landlords to clean up their act has been recognised by Government. Despite shrinking finances the Government has awarded the council the full amount it requested to continue dealing with rogue landlords.
Council leader, Cllr Peter Bedford, said: "This is good news and recognition of Boston's recent successes. Particular thanks go to the council's housing team who worked on this. The MP, Matt Warman, recognising how important this work is for Boston, also made the case for us direct to the Minister.
"We initially had funding for this work from Government two years ago. When that funding was used we thought this to be such important work that we carried it on, with council funding. This grant means we can still carry on, but it eases the burden on the council tax payer."
The council will receive £74,600 - the full bid amount for a 13-week campaign.
The main thrust of the council's rogue landlords initiative has been to investigate cases where accommodation provided has been sub-standard and to prompt landlords into rectifying defects. Successes have seen landlords invest in their properties providing modern, comfortable and sanitary conditions for their tenants.
In a few cases the council has shown that, when all else fails, it has been prepared to take rogue landlords to court, especially where, when working with Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, there have been hazards presenting a risk of injury or even a risk to life.
The council also works closely with Lincolnshire Police.
Cllr Ben Evans, the council's portfolio holder for housing, property and community, said: "In differing ways the rogue landlords scheme has been a success since its inception. Our aim has always been the same, to improve living conditions for all tenants in private rented accommodation and to persuade landlords to do the right thing for their tenants. This is work we are pleased to undertake, but also additional to the routine work of the housing department staff. So this funding is welcome and important in allowing this important work to continue."
01205 314333 is the confidential hotline to report concerns about a rented property, landlord or letting agent in the borough. Callers will need to give the address of the property, a brief account of the issues and, if known, the name of the landlord. They will not need to leave their own details, but it may prove useful for borough council housing officers should any additional information be required. They do not have to give this information, but if they chose to do, it will be kept strictly confidential. There may be occasions when the information is shared with Rogue Landlord partners - the police, Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue and the Gangmasters Licensing Authority.
A Boston property investigated as part of Rogue Landlord activities. These pictures show the state of the kitchen before and after the Rogue Landlords team served an improvement notice on the landlord.