GOVERNMENT GRANT BOOSTS CROYDON HOUSING CLAMPDOWN
Croydon househunters and estate agents will be the country’s first to
benefit from a groundbreaking council database to spot dodgy
With the help of a £15,000 Government grant announced today, Croydon
council will become the first local authority to develop a database
that tracks housing fraud in both private and social rented housing.
Through a simple online check, estate agents will be able to find out
if properties for rent are suitable – and pass to council
investigators if they are not.
The Department of Communities and Local Government grant has been
awarded to the council’s landlord licensing team, set up to raise
standards in the local private rented sector.
Since launching in October, Croydon council’s landlord licensing team
has registered more than 24,000 properties, got hundreds of landlords
to comply with the new rules and this month began preparing the first
batch of over 25 prosecutions.
Using software called i-Latch, the database will allow estate agents
to tell if a private rented property does not have the required
Croydon council landlord licence or if it is actually a council house
being sublet illegally.
Any property searches flagged as unlicensed or illegally sublet will
be sent automatically to council officers to start enquiries. Estate
agents and prospective tenants will also know immediately to avoid
using the property.
Croydon’s cabinet member for homes, regeneration and planning Cllr
Alison Butler said: “Our landlord licensing scheme is already raising
standards in the local property market, and this database will help
give househunters and lettings agents extra peace of mind.
“This database will be a valuable addition to our licensing scheme
that highlights the many good landlords in Croydon and tackles the
rogue ones, and we’re glad that the Government recognises the work
Croydon are doing in this field.” (Source: Croydon council press