Action on Dearne’s worst landlords

John Healey, MP
John Healey, MP

Bad landlords in the Goldthorpe area will be targeted within a new improvement project funded by the government.

Dearne MP John Healey has welcomed cash that will improve private rented housing and crack down on absent or errant landlords.

Barnsley Council has received £230,000 for the project focusing on Goldthorpe, Wombwell and Barnsley town centre.

But former housing minister Mr Healey warned that the Coalition Government has also relaxed planning powers put in place by Labour.

He said: “Many people in Goldthorpe are concerned at problems caused by bad private rented housing so they will welcome the crackdown the council are planning.

“Reports about bad landlords are increasing, and this is dragging down the names of those who treat their tenants fairly.

“But the government has actually cut back regulation in this area, making it easier for property owners to convert houses into multiple flats and fill them with tenants, without consideration for the neighbourhood and local services.”

The Council has identified areas as ‘hot spots’ where they think ‘rogue landlords’ may be operating.

Blitz operations will involve the council, police, firefighters, probation service and benefit and energy checks.

The crackdown will also include inspections, an accreditation of landlords scheme, the enforcement of repairs where work isn’t done voluntarily, and encouraging owners to bring empty homes back into use.

The council hopes the crackdown will reduce crime and anti-social behaviour and improve the condition of private rented houses, people’s health and the wider environment.

Mr Healey received a letter from housing minister Kris Hopkins MP informing him that the money had been allocated to Barnsley Council “to help them tackle rogue landlord activity.”

It is part of £4m to act on landlords who rent out dangerous and overcrowded properties. Mr Hopkins said this can lead to problems with noise, sanitation, benefit fraud and anti-social behaviour.