Hounslow Council helps highlight unscrupulous landlords problem

Hounslow featured on BBC 1 TV this week (Monday 6 November) on the Inside Out programme.

Published: Tuesday, 7th November 2017

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Hounslow featured on BBC 1 TV this week (Monday 6 November) as the Inside Out programme looked at how unscrupulous developers and landlords are reaping massive income by sub-dividing houses into multiple flats.

Councillor Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council, was interviewed about the problems created by the practice and the difficulties councils have in responding due to limited powers to act.

Councillor Curran said; “One of the Council’s top priorities is to ensure good quality homes for residents, and we are really concerned that current laws allow really small flats to be created that are then let at very high rents.

“Where this happens, the council seeks to take enforcement action. Like all councils, however, we are limited in what we can do by current laws. We need improved powers so we can take stronger action against these rogue landlords.” 

“Being allowed to set up landlord licensing schemes like the one in Newham would provide another means to address the problem. Ultimately, the best solution to the housing crisis could be to build more social housing. Hounslow is at the forefront of doing this with over 400 new council homes being built.”

By working with the BBC evidence of the problems has now been presented to Clive Betts MP, chair of the Government’s Communities and Local Government Committee. He has vowed to investigate private landlords, who are housing the homeless in tiny flats and said that the practice of landlords converting family homes into several flats and renting them out to homeless people on housing benefit is "an abuse of the system".