Crackdown on landlords

Published: 19 Feb 2012 12:004 comments

A LABOUR local election hopeful is kicking up a stink over rogue landlords failing to clean up overgrown and rubbish-strewn gardens in one of Reading's most historical neighbourhoods.

Crackdown: Katesgrove Labour local election hopeful Rose Williams.

Crackdown: Katesgrove Labour local election hopeful Rose Williams.

Former Mayor, Rose Williams, is pressing Reading Borough Council environmental health teams to crack down on landlords "neglecting" private rented homes in her target ward of Katesgrove.

The neighbourhood includes a large amount of private, rented and shared terraced houses, flats and bedsits. Overall more than a quarter (26%) of the borough's housing stock is made up of private rented property with an estimated 18,000 people living in 3,500 Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMOs) - more than double the national average of 12%.

Ms Williams, who is patrolling Katesgrove and reporting unkempt homes to the council, said: "Landlords neglecting their properties aren't just affecting their own tenants but everybody else who lives, walks or drives down that street. It's unacceptable, but by working together we can restore these lovely Victorian streets to a decent state and everybody will benefit. A tidy house and garden give a boost to the whole area."

Council spokesman Oscar Mortali insisted the authority's Street Care Team and environmental health officers are forcing landlords to clear gardens containing large amounts of waste which are in danger of attracting rodents, or if bushes and trees are obstructing roads and pavements.

He added: "There are instances where neglected properties can affect neighbours and anyone passing by, which does not reflect well on the local area.

"We take it seriously and any residents who are concerned should contact us."

The council is also using new laws to punish landlords who leave tenants living in unacceptable or dangerous conditions or allow long-term empty homes fall into disrepair.

The authority announced last week it will serve rogue landlords with Interim Management Orders (IMOs), enabling housing management companies to take over the properties to drive up standards.

ENDS

Jump to first paragraph.

Comments

Have your say - post a comment on this article

Registered users log in here
If you are registered with us, you can login here. If you are not registered, please do so now. Once logged in you wont have to complete word verification each time you post.

  • Kwase Modo
    Unregistered User
    Feb 19, 17:30
    Report abuse

    Nice job Rose - the area does look rough and it seems to get worse every year. Some people just don't seem to take any pride in their rented homes.

    You could also up the ante on those people who decide to leave mounds of dog mess all around Katesgrove. It is like being on an assault course trying to dodge each pile!

    Recommend?   Yes 16     No 3

  • G O D
    Unregistered User
    Feb 20, 14:20
    Report abuse

    Katesgrove or Newtown; it had to be one didn't it? If only they could deport these people...

    Recommend?   Yes 15     No 4

  • expost
    Unregistered User
    Feb 21, 17:31
    Report abuse

    While we are on about rubbish, there two ways into Reading from the south, junction 11 M4 and Burghfield Road. The M4 has had millions of pounds spent on it, the Burghfield Road from the railway bridge is a disgrace, (nothing spent on it . . . Ever), perhaps it's time consideration was made to this alternative route. ps Reading's Mayor lives within 200 mtrs of this eyesore, possibly canvassing for votes in the forthcoming election.

    Recommend?   Yes 3     No 6

  • Bushes Bernal
    Unregistered User
    Feb 22, 19:04
    Report abuse

    No doubt they are sending the ill gotten gains back home to family members! Can my taxes afford this?

    Recommend?   Yes 8     No 0