BRADFORD has been identified as a hotspot for rogue landlords by the Government which has invited it to bid for cash to bolster an ongoing crackdown.

The authority has now submitted a bid to the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to allow it extend a purge on the worst-affected properties, mainly flats above shops and businesses such as takeaways.

During 2014/15, it received 1,262 complaints from tenants about rented properties, resulting in more than 650 enforcement notices being served.

Its Housing Standards team pursued nine successful prosecutions against landlords for housing-related offences, out of a total of 54 prosecutions since 2010/11.

There have been just under 600 complaints in the first two quarters of 2015/16, with many relating to breaches in fire safety.

Bradford Council was one of 65 local authorities invited to apply for a share of £5 million of funding by the DCLG.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said: "The private rental sector is still afflicted by too many rogues – who rent dangerous, dirty and overcrowded properties without a thought for the welfare of their tenants.

"That’s why we invited the worst affected councils to come forward and apply for extra funding, so they can root out the cowboys and rogue operators.

“The Government is determined to crack down on rogue landlords and this funding, alongside measures in the Housing and Planning Bill, will further strengthen councils’ powers to tackle poor-quality privately rented homes in their area.”

Councillor Val Slater, the council's portfolio holder for housing, said of the funding bid: "If we can get any extra help to make people safer in their homes, obviously we will do that.

"We do take poor standards in housing seriously, and we will tackle them where we have the resources to do it.

"We still visit properties where, if you can believe it, they don't have smoke detectors.

"It seems a no-brainer, as it is such a simple thing to address.

"There may be some landlords that live in a little bubble somewhere, and we have to get the message across to them."More than a thousand complaints from tenants about rented properties were received by the council last year.

In October, the Telegraph & Argus revealed details of the council's pilot study in which environmental health officers made snap inspections of 36 flats in 28 premises across the city, all of which were found to contain safety hazards, including potentially fatal breaches of fire regulations.

The crackdown is focused on the Leeds Road area, but if the additional funding is secured, the inspections will be rolled out to target flats above shops across more of the main routes in and out of the city, in areas such as Manchester Road and Great Horton Road.

During the recent inspections, officers found problems such as a lack of fire escapes, poor separation from commercial units, and badly-designed layouts, which in some cases resulted in the issuing of Emergency Prohibition Orders, meaning that the properties could not continue to be occupied and the tenants forced to be re-homed.

Since the recent introduction of the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations came into force on October 1, landlords are required to have a working smoke alarm installed on each floor of their properties, as well as carbon monoxide alarms in any room with a fuel-burning appliance.

The council has confirmed that any private landlord found to be flouting the new regulations will receive a remedial notice giving them 28 days to rectify the problem, which if ignored, could lead to prosecution and a fine of up to £5,000.

The authority said that West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service (WYFRS) had written to letting agents across Bradford in a bid to inform landlords that they could get smoke detectors installed for free.

Chris Kemp, fire protection manager for WYFRS, said: "Following the recent introduction of the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations, we have been working with private sector landlords and letting agents to assist them in complying with the new regulations.

"This has involved the distribution of approximately 15,000 free smoke detectors into private rented accommodation across the county, and we are continuing to work with local authorities to assist them in prioritising properties which present the greatest risk.

"We urge landlords to take their responsibilities seriously."