Doncaster MP calls to tackle slum landlords

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Don Valley MP Caroline Flint is calling for selective licensing to be extended across the borough, after visiting Newham in London, where the council runs a borough-wide licensing scheme.

Said Caroline: ”Newham is a leader in tackling the problems of slum landlords, particularly those who would rent an unsafe property to tenants, or fill a property to the point of overcrowding.

“What I saw today was shameful. To tackle this appalling state of affairs, Newham has a borough-wide approach, with an enforcement team that works hand in hand with the police to support compliance with the scheme.

“Many landlords in Newham are good, responsible landlords, but a minority of criminal landlords take advantage of residents and of poor quality accommodation.

“I see the rise of private landlords in our low rent areas, and with that the rise in criminal and irresponsible landlords. The Council has started a licensing scheme in Hexthorpe but the Mayor has promised to extend this to Edlington. I hope licensing will be rolled out much more widely.”

The MP, who is a former Housing Minister, praised Newham Council, which has taken 890 prosecutions and banned 28 landlords since their scheme was introduced in 2013.

Since Newham introduced the borough-wide scheme, they found they had four times the number of landlords they had estimated.

Residents on the Royal Estate in Edlington are among those who are lobbying for licensing to the extended. Said Cllr Phil Cole: “Residents are very clear that the recent problems on the Royal Estate come from a minority of residents, and that some private landlords are making the situation worse not better.”