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Welfare Reform on the Web (August 2011): Social housing - UK

Councils 'are turning blind eye' to rise of slum landlords

T. Peck

The Independent, July 4th 2011, p. 13

An inquiry by the Channel 4 programme Dispatches highlights the problem posed by 'slum landlords'. With the number of people renting rather than buying their homes on the increase, the number of unscrupulous landlords is rising too. Many tenants have to face unjustified evictions, hikes in rents and extremely poor standards of accommodations. Public officers investigating such circumstances are often unable to act because, owing to the lack of social and affordable housing, if tenants living in sub-standard conditions were moved out of their current accommodation, the local authorities would have nowhere to re-house them. According to the programme, eighty per cent of environmental health officers have come across landlords who persistently refuse to maintain their properties and two thirds of environmental officers say that, in the past 12 months, no negligent landlords have been prosecuted.

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