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Government announces £4m ‘beds in sheds’ crackdown

Written by RLA

The Government has handed out a £4 million fund to councils across the country to tackle criminal landlords…

The Government has handed out a £4 million fund to councils across the country to tackle criminal landlords.

Twenty three councils have been provided with the cash to take on criminals operating in the private rented sector (PRS).

The money will allow the councils to tackle the misery of ‘beds in sheds’ – poorly-built accommodation that provides illegal and squalid living conditions for tenants. Since 2011 more than 500 of these illegally-rented outhouses have been discovered and action taken against the owners, while nine councils have already received £2.6 million to tackle the problem.

The funding was announced by housing minister, Kris Hopkins MP, who also confirmed a series of further measures to raise standards in the PRS, including:

  • New legislation that will enable courts to take account of landlords’ assets, as well as their income, when levying fines for housing offences.
  • Redress schemes for lettings and property management will now be able to come forward for approval. All agents will be required to join one of the approved schemes, so their tenants have somewhere to turn if they don’t get the service they deserve.
  • The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors has agreed to help develop a voluntary code of practice on property management, and will host a workshop in January to get the work started. The code will set standards for the management of rental properties, so tenants know what level of service they should expect from their landlord.

The Residential Landlords’ Association is also liaising closely with the Government in its efforts to raise standards in the PRS.

Mr. Hopkins said, “The majority of tenants are happy with their home, but the private rental market is still afflicted by too many ‘unscrupulous Scrooges’: miserly landlords who rent dangerous, dirty and overcrowded properties without a thought for the welfare of their tenants.

“We also want to raise the quality and choice of rental accommodation across the whole sector. Today’s measures will continue our progress, ensuring tenants know what level of service they can expect and, if things do go wrong, giving them the confidence to get help and take action.”

Further information
  • Twenty-three councils across the country will receive funding to help tackle rogue landlords in their area:
    • Barnsley £230,000
    • Blackpool £293,000
    • Bolton £56,000
    • Boston £109,000
    • Bournemouth £134,000
    • Croydon £82,000
    • Derby £238,000
    • Fenland £179,000
    • Hastings £204,000
    • Herefordshire £54,000
    • Hounslow £260,000
    • Lambeth £82,000
    • Leeds £125,000
    • Lewisham £125,000
    • Medway £64,000
    • Newham £1,028,000
    • Nottingham £124,000
    • Oxford £150,000
    • Pennine Lancashire £109,000
    • Plymouth £68,000
    • Rochdale £111,000
    • Rossendale £79,000
    • Sheffield £145,000
    • (Total: £4,049,000)
  • “Cash for councils to stop rogue landlords” DCLG press release (30th December 2013)

About the author



The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) represents the interests of landlords in the private rented sector (PRS) across England and Wales. With over 23,000 subscribing members, and an additional 16,000 registered guests who engage regularly with the association, we are the leading voice of private landlords. Combined, they manage almost half a million properties.

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