Rogue landlords in the City of Wolverhampton are facing possible legal action after the council’s private housing services team exercised its enforcement powers.
Two evening operations were recently carried out on properties in the Park Village, Whitmore Reans and Penn Fields areas of the city following new intelligence gathered by officers.
In total, eight Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) were found to be in poor condition.
Investigations and interviews are underway to determine the responsible parties for the breaches found, which could result in legal action and/or civil penalties.
A further two properties were found to have been knocked through and operating as a large cannabis factory. The police have taken control of the properties where cannabis was being grown and are carrying out investigations. The private housing services team will be carrying out further enforcement operations across the city as part of their work to improve properties and safeguard tenants.
Councillor Peter Bilson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for City Assets and Housing, said: “These operations are part of our zero-tolerance approach to tackling rogue landlords.
“The majority of private sector landlords in the city make a positive contribution to Wolverhampton’s housing offer, which is valued by the council.
“This enforcement work provides further protection of the health, safety and welfare rights for tenants in the city.
“I would like to thank the team for their efforts, as these operations require meticulous planning and entail a great deal of work.”
Landlords found to be breaking housing laws can be handed civil penalties up to £30,000 per offence, depending on the impact of the breach and culpability of the offender.
The council retains any funds obtained from civil penalties provided it is used to further the council’s statutory functions in relation to private rented services housing enforcement.
City of Wolverhampton’s Council’s Rent with Confidence scheme supports this work.
The star rating system for private landlords encourages greater customer choice and aims to raise living standards in the city.
Stars are awarded to landlords who comply with the law and who rent out property above the minimum statutory standards, with financial incentives for five-star landlords.
Landlords are rated on their properties as well as their practises.