ROTHERHAM Borough Council this week insisted that it had plenty of measures to tackle problem landlords.
Earlier this week, housing charity Shelter said that complaints about rogue landlords in Rotherham had more than doubled over the last year.
The organisation urged Rotherham Borough Council to act now and clampdown on unscrupulous landlords.
But the council has hit back, saying it was taking steps to deal with problems.
A spokesman said: “The private rented housing sector provides an increasingly important source of homes to Rotherham residents.
“Our community protection team works with private landlords and tenants to encourage improved conditions throughout the sector.
“Over the last two years, the council has focused on proactive housing inspections in Dinnington and Maltby to help landlords, tenants and local residents to improve their housing conditions.
“We have also organised landlord forums and awareness events in Eastwood and Dinnington, and provide regular, free, newsletters to over 800 local landlords.
“We are currently working closely with the National Landlords’ Association to offer support and advice through presentations and workshops to local landlords.
“Tenants in privately-rented houses are encouraged to speak with their landlords if they have problems.
“In the minority of cases where landlords neglect their responsibilities, tenants have a number of ways to contact the council’s public protection unit, who will instigate action against landlords, if required.”
The spokesman said that the council’s community protection unit had received a 12 per cent increase in complaints about the town’s 8,500 private rented properties since last year.
He added: “To put these figures in perspective, in 2010 the council received 825 complaints regarding overcrowding or the conditions in privately rented properties.
“The vast majority of these complaints were resolved without court action.
“Shelter’s figures represent the number of informal enquires they have received and they will have advised tenants to contact the council if they fail to get satisfaction from their landlord.
“It is encouraging to see that private tenants are accessing advice through Shelter’s service and are managing to resolve issues with their landlords, without having to resort to the council’s statutory powers.”
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