New taskforce to tackle criminal rogue landlords in Liverpool

Liverpool City Council has formed a taskforce to pursue rogue landlords who engage in criminal activity and exploit vulnerable tenants.

The Council has received a £2 million grant from the Department for Levelling Up Pathfinder to launch a new way of working in which it will collaborate with partners and organisations from across the City Region.

The Private Sector Housing Intelligence and Enforcement Task Force’s goal is to disrupt landlords who work with gangmasters and other types of exploitation, such as sex work and drug dealing.

A dedicated team has been formed, providing the local authority with additional resources to deal with the most complex types of cases, where tenants are often afraid to report crimes for fear of retaliation.

After gathering intelligence and conducting targeted enforcement, they will implement an enforcement strategy to drive bad landlords out of the market. They will also collaborate with neighbouring authorities, as many property owners have properties in more than one area.

Trading Standards, Children’s Services, and Merseyside Police will collaborate to join forces, share information, and take appropriate action.

It is consistent with the Council’s new Neighbourhood Model, which emphasises breaking down silos and collaborating more closely with other organisations to improve services.

The taskforce is distinct from the Council’s Landlord Licencing scheme, which covers roughly 70% of the city’s privately rented housing sector. It focuses on preventing and combating fire and electrical safety hazards, excessive cold and damp, and preventing and combating anti-social behaviour.

The taskforce will be launched on Friday, December 1st, at the Cunard Building, by Liverpool City Council and partners.

Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr Sarah Doyle, said: 

“This taskforce is about tackling criminal rogue landlords who do not care about their tenants, nor our city.  

“They are exploiting tenants for their own financial gain, taking advantage of extremely vulnerable people who are afraid to speak out because they are terrified of the consequences. 

“Due to the nature of the issues we are dealing with, drawing up evidence is extremely time consuming and complicated, which is why we have secured funding for a dedicated team to work specifically on this.

“This is a key part of our commitment to improving our neighbourhoods and making them better areas places to live for our residents.

“We all want the best for the city, and by working closely with partner organisations we can and will make a real difference to vulnerable people, and help drive rogue landlords out of Liverpool.”

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