Leeds City Council has been awarded a £125,000 grant to help tackle rogue landlords in the city – and at the same time improve fire safety in flats above hundreds of shops.
The authority already works with landlords and their associations to improve standards through the Leeds Landlords Accreditation Scheme.
However, it has still had to serve over 1,000 enforcement notices on more than 350 private-sector properties in the past year to secure improvements to both property and management standards.
Not all landlords have complied and the council has secured 15 prosecutions against those unwilling to fulfil their legal duties to their tenants.
The new Government cash will fund a partnership project with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, which will see over 200 commercial premises with residential accommodation targeted to ensure they meet the required standard and, where appropriate, comply with relevant food and health legislation.
Councillor Peter Gruen, the council’s executive board member for neighbourhoods, planning and support services, said: “We undertake a lot of work to ensure we tackle rogue landlords within the city, and have had a number of successful prosecutions throughout the last 12 months.
“We want to ensure all our residents are protected and live safely in quality homes across the city, and this money will go towards specifically tackling quality and safety in flats above shops.”
Under the new scheme, all affected residents will be offered a package of help including fire safety guidance and security checks. Landlords and commercial businesses will also be offered access to free help and advice regarding fire safety by WYFS and support from the local landlords association.