Rogue landlords not welcome in Hastings, councillors declare

ROGUE landlords are not welcome in Hastings said councillors as they voted to support housing charity Shelter’s campaign.

Hastings Borough Council will publicly state its commitment to tackling landlords who are providing unsuitable housing, by signing a statement of support for Shelter’s Evict Rogue Landlords campaign.

This was unanimously agreed at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday (April 2).

Head of housing and development Andrew Palmer said: “Many of the good landlords would like action taken against those who bring the profession into disrepute.

Shelter’s campaign is driven by the belief that in the private sector there are a large number of landlords failing to offer good standards of accommodation to their tenants, and a small minority of ‘rogue landlords’ who deliberately prey on the vulnerable.

Councillor Kim Forward, the council’s lead member for housing, said: “It’s good for landlords, it’s good for the residents, and it’s good for the council.

“We have absolutely no qualms signing up to the campaign.

“All of these actions Shelter wishes good councils to take, we are already taking.”

Some of the actions that Shelter states that local councils should take, are enforcing the laws that already exist, pro-actively inspecting properties to make sure they are appropriate homes, introduce landlord accreditation schemes, and publicising their tough stance on rogue landlords.

Councillor John Hodges said: “It is vital that vulnerable people are given protection against those who prey on them.”

Councillor Peter Finch said that he was in favour of reviewing the additional licensing of HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupation), which is currently done by ward rather than by street, in order to make the system more effective.

The council will become part of a group of local authorities supporting the campaign and will receive some support from the charity, including having any local successes publicised by Shelter.

In response to Shelter’s campaign, the Government has pledged to set up a dedicated rogue landlord taskforce, invest £1.8 million to deal with ‘sheds with beds’ and remove limits to the fines imposed on rogue landlords.