A council is so fed-up with complaints about rogue landlords that it is introducing a hotline for tenants to lodge complaints after a survey revealed most landlords were ‘not meeting standards’.
Northampton Borough Council has pledged to investigate all complaints left on the hotline within 24 hours in a bid to boost standards. Complaints can be left by anyone who believes that a landlord is lacking in their duty.
The council’s hotline is open from 9am to 5pm with an answer machine taking messages out of office hours.
In a bid to be consistent, an investigating officer will be allocated to a specific area so that they will deal with that issue in any investigation.
Cllr Mary Markham, the council’s cabinet member for housing, said there was a problem with rogue landlords making life difficult for tenants and for neighbours.
Rogue property landlords need to improve
She added: “The majority of landlords are not meeting our standards and people keep telling us that this is a problem where they live.”
The hotline is the council’s response to those complaints and they have pledged to take action and improve standards.
The council also says that it now wants to work closely with property landlords in a bid to raise the quality of properties available for rent in the city which has a rapidly growing student population and increasing numbers of people opting to rent because they can’t afford to buy a house.
In addition, the council says it welcomes responsible landlords and promised to take action to close down those who are indifferent to the welfare of their tenants and neighbours.
Northampton bids to improve landlord standards
The rogue landlord hotline is the first step to tackling this problem and Northampton is also planning to send out a team of officers into the community every day to deal with any reported problems not just those that come via the hotline.
Other measures may well be revealed in the coming months as the council tries to raise the standard of rental properties in Northampton.
The move by Northampton has been welcomed by Campbell Robb, the chief executive of Shelter, who said: “We see the devastating impact that rogue landlords can have on people’s lives every day and we have been urging councils, and the government, to crack down on what is a small but very dangerous minority who make people’s lives a misery.
“That’s why we are pleased that the Northampton is committing itself to taking firm action against rogue landlords working in their area and we are urging other councils to follow their lead to crack down on the worst offenders and stamp out rogue landlords forever.”
Disgruntled tenants in Northampton wanting to make a complaint should call the hotline on 0300 330 7002.
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