City of Wolverhampton Council has secured almost £184,000 of government funding to further develop its pioneering Rent with Confidence private rented sector housing scheme.

It is part of a wider £435,000 package for the West Midlands announced today (Friday 3 January, 2020) by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to crack down on criminal landlords and letting agents who make tenants’ lives a misery by offering inadequate or unsafe housing.

The funding boost will enable the Rent with Confidence programme to place additional emphasis on the landlord tenant relationship by working closely with Public Health.

Councillor Peter Bilson, City of Wolverhampton Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for City Assets and Housing, said: “The majority of private sector landlords in the city make a positive contribution to Wolverhampton’s housing offer and we are working closely with many of them through our Rent with Confidence scheme.

“We take a very robust approach to rogue landlords in the city and this funding will further enhance our work.

“Where we have to act we are taking a zero tolerance approach to criminal landlords - we will no longer accept vulnerable people being exploited.”

Landlords found to be breaking housing laws can be handed civil penalties up to £30,000 per offence or banning orders, 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 5 star landlords.

Landlords are rated on their properties as well as their practices.

To date 450 landlords have been rated by the scheme, 150 have self assessed, 1,191 properties have been rated by the scheme and a further 124 have been self assessed. 766 properties have achieved 3 stars or higher.