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Council backs Shelter campaign against rogue landlords

February 26, 2013 10:12 AM

A national campaign by the homeless charity Shelter to protect tenants from rogue landlords is being backed by Cambridge City Council.

Cambridge City Council is among dozens of councils across the country which have signed up to the Shelter campaign Evict Rogue Landlords.

The move comes after the council set aside £40,000 in its budget for a landlord liaison officer so that it can get tougher on rogue landlords by increasing the number of inspections on rented properties.

The Shelter campaign was launched after the charity discovered that local authorities nationally were aware of around 1,477 serial rogue landlords; yet in the past year only 270 were prosecuted and tough enforcement action was only a small proportion of local authorities' work.

Cambridge City Council, however, has been taking a tough stand against rogue landlords and has prosecuted those breaking the law.

But with so many people having to rely on private landlords in Cambridge, the council wanted to be able to react when complaints were made so that it could carry out immediate inspections.

Catherine Smart, Cambridge City Executive Councillor for Housing said: "We want to make sure tenants across Cambridge are given good living standards and treated properly by their landlords. Most do take great care to ensure this but there are substandard landlords whose practices are suspect.

"We want to identify when things are going wrong before they go critical and get them changed. Law breaking will continue to be prosecuted but also we will promote best practice.

"The Shelter campaign puts the onus on local authorities across the country to rid the rental industry of those landlords who are not following the regulations and improve standards all round. This is so important especially as more and more people are renting from private landlords."