A CRACKDOWN on rogue landlords in Worcester and across the county has been launched.
The move to take action against landlords whose properties are overcrowded, at risk of fire or are being used for criminal activity follows the Government awarding the six district councils £291,390 to launch the clampdown.
The bid, led by Worcester City Council and in partnership with Herefordshire and Worcestershire Fire and Rescue Service, will be used to identify flats and other housing where tenants, many of them expected to be migrants, are living in poor or dangerous conditions.
The campaign will specifically target premises above takeaways, many of which are thought to be used for accommodation.
Two private sector enforcement officers will be employed as part of the crackdown, working to track down and inspect rented accommodation, identify who the landlords are and check that conditions are up to legally required standards.
Where problems are discovered, the officers will be able to issue fines or notices ordering landlords to improve their properties. In some cases, rogue landlords could face prosecution.
A communities engagement worker will also support any tenants in sub-standard properties and the communities they are living in, aiming to building better relations between them.
Coun Mike Johnson, chair of the City Council’s Communities Committee, said: “This funding will allow action to be taken against rogue landlords across our county.
“It will allow us to understand and tackle the impact that poor – and, in some cases, dangerous – housing has on the migrant population and local residents of Worcestershire.”
Committee vice chair Coun Lynn Denham, said: “This important project will enable us to address issues which we know can be a concern to local residents.
“Private rented properties are an important part of the housing mix in Worcestershire, but we need to ensure that every home is safe and meets a decent standard.”