Slum landlords warned with tough stance to be taken by council

General View of Wakefield City Centre
General View of Wakefield City Centre
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Landlords who let out sub-standard properties are being warned they will definitely face prosecution under a tough new stance being taken by Wakefield Council.

The council’s cabinet today agreed that rogue landlords will be prosecuted and fined up to £30,000 for each offence if they fail to repair, manage or improve their properties as requested.

Leader of the council, Coun Peter Box said: “We need to make it abundantly clear that these are not just words on paper, we’re going to enforce this.

“If anyone is exploiting tenants we will be on their case - we want this to be meaningful in terms of enforcement.”

The council’s new powers includes the ability to pursue landlords more vigorously, protect tenants and reduce inequalities of housing conditions in the private rented sector and reduce the hazards in homes that cause ill health, such as dampness, cold, fire, and poor bathrooms and kitchens.

Non-payment will be enforced through the county courts.

Coun Denise Jeffery, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for economic growth and regeneration, said: “We have some great landlords in the district, but we have an awful lot that are letting anything happen.

“We are not building houses anymore and Wakefield District Housing is struggling so people are turning to private accommodation and some homes are just not up to standard.

“People come to us who are in despair, one person came to me and said they were having to live upstairs in their rented house because the downstairs was just not fit for purpose.

“It’s really important that we move forward to take a stand and say ‘we will not put up with this anymore’.”