West Lindsey council move to tackle rogue landlords

editorial image

West Lindsey District Council is cracking down on landlords renting out overcrowding, hazardous and unsafe private accommodation.

Council chiefs have outlined their tough stance following routine housing inspections in privately rented homes in Gainsborough.

The council used its powers under the Housing Act 2004 to execute warrants at nine properties on Trinity Street on Tuesday, June 20.

Councillor Sheila Bibb said the authority had gathered intelligence giving rise to concerns of overcrowding and fire safety.

She said: “Too often tenants don’t complain about the standards of living accommodation – especially if it’s privately rented for fear of being asked to leave.

“Landlords have a responsibility to ensure their properties meet certain standards.”

She added: “The Housing Act 2004, gives local authorities powers to make sure that properties are safe and suitable to live in and we will exercise this right when we feel it’s appropriate.”

The unannounced inspections were aided by Lincolnshire Police, who also seized a significant number of cigarettes from the homes.

It is the first time the council has carried out simultaneous inspections on this scale.

Officers were on standby ready to rehome individuals if needed, carry out emergency repairs or fit smoke alarms.

The council will be serving notices and carrying out emergency works to address issues found including some serious fire hazards.

Coun Bibb, thanked colleagues and partners for their support with the inspections.

She added: “We have a number of exceptional landlords in the district who provide a great service to local residents.

“However, there is the small number who fail to meet their obligations and this will not be tolerated.”

Tenants with issues of disrepair within their property that are not being addressed by their landlord can report these to the council online at www.west-lindsey.gov.uk.