Council plans crackdown on ‘beds in sheds’

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Government funding has been awarded to Luton Borough Council to continue its crack down on the problem of rogue landlords and ‘beds in sheds’ in the town.

The Council has been awarded £94,000 towards tackling irresponsible landlords who exploit tenants by letting out sub standard homes and making lives a misery.

The funding will also be used to clamp down on ‘beds in sheds’ which are often rented to vulnerable people who are charged unreasonable rents to live in cramped conditions.

The money will be used for the on-going rogue landlord project developed in partnership with the Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Service, the Luton Law Centre and the Luton Citizens Advice Bureau.

The project will continue to:

• increase inspections of property

• carry out more raids

• initiate more enforcement action and prosecutions

• demolish sheds and buildings that are prohibited.

In recent months, prosecutions or prohibition orders have begun against 18 landlords which can result in large fines and criminal records. Beds in sheds and HMOs have been emptied and a number of investigations are on-going.

Cllr Tom Shaw, Portfolio Holder for housing said: “The majority of tenants are happy with their home but the private rental sector is still affected by too many rogues who rent dangerous, dirty and overcrowded properties without a thought for the welfare of their tenants.

“We are determined to clamp down on these landlords and ensure that Luton has a good supply of quality rented accommodation.”

In 2011 the Herald&Post ran a story about people living in garden sheds at the backs of houses in the Dallow and Runley Road areas, often without bathroom facilities.

>For more information on rogue landlords visit www.luton.gov.uk/housing