UK Government will focus enforcement teams to crackdown on rogue private landlords

Secretary of State, Michael Gove, allocates funding to tackle rogue landlords and addresses safety legislation delays

At the same time, he has been forced to defend the delays in delivering safety legislation following the fire at Grenfell Tower.

The move comes as part of an effort to improve housing quality in both social and private rented sectors. This decision follows the tragic circumstances surrounding the death of Awaab Ishak, who lived in a property repeatedly reported as suffering from damp and mould, managed by Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH).

In response to the urgent need for action, Gove has written to all councils and housing associations, urging them to take prompt measures when residents complain about damp and mould issues. Housing Association RBH, however, is currently awaiting funding until the Regulator of Social Housing completes its investigation and the association proves itself to be a responsible landlord.

Private rented housing

The focus on enforcement is primarily aimed at housing associations and others that endanger the lives and welfare of tenants. By granting Local Authorities increased power to enforce existing standards, Gove aims to create a safer and more secure environment for renters in the private rented sector (PRS).

Renters' Reform and Section 21

Acknowledging the concerns of tenants in the PRS, Polly Neate, CEO of Shelter, expressed worries that reporting damp and mould could lead to Section 21 notices.

Responding to this, Gove assured that Renters' Reform legislation is scheduled for 2024, which will eliminate Section 21 grounds. Additionally, it will provide support to landlords who need to regain possession from tenants with significant rent arrears or those displaying anti-social behavior.

Housing supply

Addressing the topic of housebuilding, Gove faced questions about Conservative MPs blocking housebuilding to protect the interests of homeowners in the south of England.

New planning laws were originally scheduled for a vote in the upcoming week but have been rescheduled due to opposition. Gove, however, pointed out significant increases in housebuilding figures in recent years, with more first-time buyers now able to step onto the housing ladder.

Overall, the recent funding allocation and plans for legislative reforms indicate the government's commitment to improve housing conditions and ensure the safety and welfare of renters and homeowners alike.