Private landlords in Southend, Essex are at the centre of a new project by the town's council.

According to the Southend Echo, the local authority will be aiming to clamp down on rogue landlords, who rent out sub-standard properties to tenants.

The main focus will be on houses in multiple occupation (HMO) and the council hopes to get the go-ahead to introduce a licensing scheme to ensure property owners and their homes meet certain criteria before tenancy agreements are drawn up.

Commenting on the private rented sector in Southend, Conservative councillor Mark Flewitt - the man responsible for social services at the local authority - said there are around 200 HMOs in the borough.

"The majority are well run and meet the required standards. However, there are a few which are run by landlords who do not behave responsibly when it comes to the general upkeep of the property,"he explained.

Earlier this week, the Nottingham Evening Post reported on another private landlord initiative led by a local council.

It revealed that Broxtowe Borough Council is offering landlords of empty properties grants to get their homes up to a fit and proper standard so that tenants can move in.

Written by John Weeks
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