Landlord forums to improve standards and communities
A new approach to working with private landlords will improve housing standards and communities.
That’s the aim of the new landlord forums being established in targeted areas of the city.
The forums bring together landlords, a range of council services, police and fire services along with local councillors.
As well as ensuring landlords have a say in local housing provision, the forums are being established so landlords can take an active role in improving the communities they are part of.
A well-attended meeting in Holbeck earlier this month will be followed by a meeting in April for private landlords in Burley.
As well as participating in the local forums, landlords across the city can volunteer to become part of the Leeds Landlord Accreditation Scheme. The scheme demonstrates that their properties are of a good standard and that they have sound management practices.
While accredited landlords represent the best the city has to offer, the council is continuing to tackle those landlords whose standards fall well below par.
With thousands of requests for help from distressed tenants each year, the council investigates and takes action against less scrupulous landlords.
Following investigations, hundreds of improvement notices have been served. The top five defects officers uncover are: fire safety; falls; excess cold; electrical issues; and dampness.
Between April and December 2014, twelve cases ended up in court with landlords facing thousands of pounds in fines.
Councillor Peter Gruen executive member for neighbourhoods, planning and personnel, said:
“Landlords already on the accreditation scheme are reaping the benefits of the recognition this brings. Tenants look for this as a mark of quality from reliable, trustworthy professionals.
“At the other end of the spectrum we have landlords who can only be described as ‘rogue’ and we’ll continue to pursue these rogues to put an end to the misery they cause.
“In between these two extremes are scores of people who have perhaps become landlords by accident, after they’ve inherited a property for example. We can provide specialist advice and support and I’d encourage as many landlords as possible to get in touch and get registered on the accreditation scheme.
“The forums are another tool we can use to work with landlords in discrete areas. We had a productive meeting with landlords in Holbeck and we look forward to another full and frank discussion with Burley landlords about how we can share best practice and improve communities.”
More information on the Leeds Landlord Accreditation Scheme is available at www.leeds.gov.uk.
From April to December 2014 Leeds City Council has:
Received 1855 requests for privately rented properties to be investigated
Inspected 1236 properties
Intervened and helped 2812 people
Removed 761 hazards as a result of formal enforcement
Served 220 formal enforcement notices
Prosecuted 12 landlords and issued 11 formal cautions