Liverpool City Council is launching a taskforce to go after rogue landlords involved in criminality who exploit vulnerable tenants

The council has secured £2 million from a Department for Levelling Up pathfinder to launch a new way of working which will see the local authority collaborating with partners and organisations across the City Region.

Many of us will know how important housing quality is to our health and wellbeing, and how it affects our quality of life; things like mould, damp, overcrowding, and dangers like sub-standard electrics and dodgy boilers can be dangerous, with terrible consequences for people living with them.

One of our biggest challenges is creating better standards in privately rented properties, these aren’t typical council houses or housing association accommodation, approx. 55,000 homes in Liverpool are privately rented, and the Private Sector Housing team runs a selective licensing scheme to support tenants and landlords to improve housing standards across our city.

The council has environmental health and housing officers working to improve quality of life for people living in Liverpool, improving standards through inspections, and exploring legal routes to require improvements.

There are a lot of good landlords, but there are some who do not work within the rules; it’s hard to find them, and hard to deal with problems resulting from their activities. These landlords leave vulnerable residents in dangerously poor housing conditions, allow the growth of anti-social behaviour and community discord, exploiting vulnerable residents, and sometimes operating criminally.

So far, it has been difficult to find these landlords, hard to improve conditions in the homes they rent, and hard to prosecute them if they have acted illegally. New legislation issued by the government to deal with these “Rogue Landlords”  was created in 2019, and legislation has been recommended in May 2023 to protect tenants.

Liverpool has successfully bid for a pilot programme to tackle these issues, giving the council a chance to find these landlords, apply financial penalties, and prosecute them for criminal activities. They’ve set up a team of enforcement, intelligence, and support professionals to create new ways of working that will focus on identifying, prosecuting, and putting out of business landlords who exploit families, blight neighbourhoods, and harm our communities.

They’ve got a lot of tools on their side, from housing act, environmental health, and criminal legislation; but a limited amount of time to make it successful – they can’t do this on our own, and they are asking you to be a part of this by letting them know anything you can do to help.

If you have any questions about the project, or information you think could make a difference, please give them a shout at privatesectorhousing.intel@liverpool.gov.uk and if you have any worries about a specific property or tenants circumstances, the PSH inbox privatesector.housing@liverpool.gov.uk is there too!

To learn more, please click here.

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