Councillors agree plans to regulate private rented housing in the district
Senior councillors have approved a new set of measures to help improve conditions for people living in private rented housing in the district.
Cabinet, met on Tuesday October 10 to discuss how the number of homes in the
private sector has tripled in recent years, which includes a substantial
increase in the number of homes which are in multiple-occupancy.
In 2001 it was estimated that five percent of housing in the Wakefield district
were privately rented, in 2016 this rose to 18,000 which is 15 percent.
While the majority of landlords provide well maintained homes, some homes are
unsafe and badly managed, which means that more help is needed to support those
tenants living in bad conditions.
The meeting heard that in parts of the district terraced homes have been
converted into homes of multiple occupancy, and there were concerns
about the conditions in some of these homes. Changes to the benefits
system and a lack of social housing mean that more people are reliant on the
private housing sector.
Cllr Denise Jeffery,
Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Regeneration at Wakefield Council said:
“We have to work with some very serious problems in our wards. We have a lot of
good landlords but some are abusing the system and we need to tackle the
Measures approved will strengthen the Council’s enforcement powers to improve
conditions in the private sector. This will also help to tackle health and
social inequalities which affect people who are living in poorly maintained accommodation.
Cllr Peter Box CBE, Leader of Wakefield Council, said he fully recognised there
was a need for the Council to support tenants who have raised issues about
their housing and to help get their issues resolved.
By improving conditions, and where necessary taking enforcement action against
rogue landlords, the Council will support tenants to ensure they are treated
fairly and within the law.
The report explained that the private rental sector is an important part of the
district’s housing offer and, where accommodation is safe and well maintained,
works well for those who prefer to rent or who need flexibility because of