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Councils coordinate to crack down on criminal landlord kingpins

Unscrupulous West London landlords who create portfolios of overcrowded, unregulated and unsafe properties face a more coordinated investigation of their crimes.

Published: Tuesday, 24th March 2020

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Unscrupulous West London landlords who create portfolios of overcrowded, unregulated and unsafe properties, including building make-shift shacks in back gardens, now face a more coordinated investigation of their crimes. 

The London Boroughs of Hounslow, Hillingdon, Ealing and Slough Borough Council, backed by a Government grant of over almost £60,000, are working together to untangle the webs of family and company-owned properties that “Portfolio Criminal Landlords” use to disguise their operations. These webs can extend over borough boundaries, so coordinated investigations are the only way to reveal their full extent.

The new approach will target the individuals who ultimately control the networks of properties, rather than dealing with properties on an individual basis. These properties can be dangerous and affected by issues including unsanitary conditions and unregulated fire hazards.

By focusing on those who control a network of properties, the West London councils aim to potentially dismantle their portfolios and deter others from breaking the law.

Hounslow Council Leader Cllr Steve Curran, said:

“I’m proud of this joint initiative to target unscrupulous landlords who break the law and make life miserable for vulnerable tenants.

“We’ve seen how complex and underhand these individuals can be in disguising their holdings – working with our partners we can bring to light the full extent of their offences and prosecute them.

“We hope other Councils can learn from our approach.”

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