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Are 'rogue landlords' flourishing in Cornwall
5:00pm Wednesday 16th October 2013 in News
Half of people people renting in Cornwall are living in homes that are damp, cold, overcrowded or in a bad state of repair, a study reveals.
Cornwall has a higher percentage of non-decent private rented homes than the national average with over 50 per cent not meeting the Government’s ‘Decent Homes Standard’.
The independent NatCen research commissioned by Shelter shows a large-scale problem for the SW region, with a sharp increase in the number of people renting privately over the last decade. In just the last four years, local councils in the region have received 27,000 complaints about landlords, 4,000 from Cornwall alone.
Shelter is calling on local councils in the region to take comprehensive action to tackle rogue landlords, with Cornwall Council saying: "Individuals and families renting in Cornwall deserve to live in good quality, safe properties and Cornwall Council is taking positive steps to drive up standards," it said.
Over the last 10 years the proportion of families with dependent children renting privately has risen by 72 per cent, and the total percentage of households renting privately has shot up by more than half. This rise has resulted in high demand and a pressurised rental market.
Shelter is warning that this climate has allowed rogue landlords in the region to flourish, with many families having little choice over the property they live in.
Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb said: 'Families should never be forced to live in a place where their health and well-being is at risk, so the fact that nearly half of those renting privately in the South West are living in bad housing is shocking.’
The shock statistics come as Cornwall Council, in partnership with the Cornwall Residential Landlords Association and the National Landlords Association, is organising an event to debate the quality of homes available to rent in Cornwall and what action can be taken to improve standards.
The event at Heartlands in Pool on October 25 is inviting landlords, property owners, letting agents and tenants to come along and join the
The debate, which will be chaired by BBC Radio Cornwall’s Martin Bailie, centres around whether the local authority needs more powers to force owners to bring properties up to scratch or whether a more softly, softly approach is required.
The sector has grown by 10,000 dwellings in the last 10 years, which accounts for almost 20 per cent (34,000 homes) of all housing provision in Cornwall, outstripping the supply of social rented homes for the first time.
Delegates at the conference will hear from representatives from the London Borough of Newham who will be advocating a licensing approach which will force landlords to apply for a licence and comply with licensing conditions, whilst South West Landlords Association and the London Landlord Accreditation Scheme providers will be advocating accreditation which is a voluntary scheme and aims to support good landlords and property agents through education and support.
Cornwall Council cabinet member for communities and housing Geoff Brown says: “I’m sure it will be an interesting and lively debate around the quality of private rented accommodation and how we can best make sure that homes are of a decent standard. Cornwall Council is committed to raising standards across the private rented sector wherever necessary and I urge those involved in the rented sector to attend this conference and to help influence how Cornwall Council can achieve that aim.”
Anyone interested in attending the conference can register now by emailing: email@example.com to be sent a full programme for the day.
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