CIPHE backs police call for tougher landlord laws

The CIPHE has backed calls by one of the country’s top police chiefs for tougher regulation of housing providers.

West Midlands Chief Constable Dave Thompson said rogue landlords in his force’s area – including criminal gangs – were exploiting loopholes in the laws covering accommodation for vulnerable people.

As a result, unsafe housing and anti-social behaviour was having to be investigated by his officers. Investigations have also established links between the landlords and organised crime including money laundering and tenants being used for modern slavery.

He told P&H Engineering: “They are absentee landlords, and vulnerable people are suffering as a result. Local authorities do not have the power to intervene – and they should.”

He added: “It is too easy to set up companies. When we investigate, names change overnight.”

His comments coincided with the release of a report by the National Crime Agency which warned the housing industry remains a top target for international money launderers.

CIPHE chief executive officer Kevin Wellman has backed the chief constable’s call for change.

He said: “Anyone can establish a business regardless of relevant and supporting qualifications. This has allowed a small, but undesirable rogue operator culture to arise and lives are being put at risk.”

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