Cash boost of £85,000 will help council crackdown on rogue landlords in Portsmouth
A CASH boost of more than £85,000 from government will be used to help crackdown on rogue landlords and 'solve the long term issues of housing' in Portsmouth.
As part of a £4m handout to around 100 local authorities in the UK, Portsmouth City Council has been given £85,686 to compile a comprehensive private housing database.
It is hoped this starting point will then allow the council to look at other problems facing tenants including rent arrears, poor conditions and unfair evictions.
The council's housing boss, Councillor Darren Sanders, said he was 'delighted' Portsmouth would benefit from the funding.
'This money will help us make renting privately safer and easier based on evidence rather than just going ahead without knowing exactly how many homes there,' he said.
It comes after a motion to introduce selective licensing was voted down by councillors in October last year.
Cllr Sanders added: 'We know from other councils that just selective licensing doesn't work becuase most of the time they don't even know how many privately rented homes there are.
'A whole raft of measures are needed here. But we need to have the evidence that this will provide before we can start.
'We also know that many people who rent privately in the city have fantastic experiences and there are some great landlords out there. We want everyone to have the best experience possible when renting.'
Across the south east 16 councils will benefit from a total of £790,000.
Announcing the cash, housing secretary Robert Jenrick MP, said: 'Everyone deserves to live in a home that is safe and secure and the funding announced today for the south east will strengthen councils’ powers to crack down on poor landlords and drive up standards in the private rented sector for renters across the country.'
However, there were concerns it was 'nowhere near enough.' David Smith, policy director for the Residential Landlords Association, said: 'Instead of offering inadequate and sporadic pots of money, it is critical that the Government provides proper, multi-year funding to enable councils to plan and prepare workable strategies to find the criminal landlords.'
Other councils to receive money include Southampton City Council, Chichester District Council and Arun District Council.