LANDLORDS have been urged to take more care of their tenants and not just look to “make a quick buck” by letting out substandard properties.

In 2017/18 Bradford Council’s Housing Standards Team received 1,827 service requests relating to the poor condition of housing in the district. This was a seven per cent rise on the previous year.

And in the first nine months of 2018/19 the service has received 1,590 service requests.

Mould, poor heating and fire risks were the most common reason for call-outs, and officers can force landlords or property owners to bring the buildings up to standard.

Most of the properties in question were privately rented.

The area with the highest number of callouts in 2017/18 was the City ward, with 202. This was followed by Bowling and Barkerend with 198.

The service gave an update to the Council’s Regeneration and Environment Scrutiny Committee at a meeting on Tuesday.

Members were told that in the past few months officers had been pro-actively inspecting properties above shops. Officers said these flats were deemed to be higher fire risk than other properties, as the kitchen, living room and bedroom was so close together, and there was usually only one way out of the property.


Officers have recently been inspecting such properties on Leeds Road, Manchester Road and Manningham Lane.

The committee also discussed the rising number of Houses of Multiple Occupation - where residents share facilities like bathrooms and kitchens.

Councillor Ralph Berry (Lab, Wibsey) pointed out that the areas with the most calls to the service were the most deprived areas of the district. He said it was vital the service work with children’s and adult services to make sure Bradford’s most vulnerable people were not being


He said: “Welfare reform is driving this crisis. People are not able to get housing benefit and are having to go into this type of accommodation.

“These types of poor quality accommodation is where child sexual exploitation and abuse happens.”

He said some landlords were providing woefully inadequate accommodation.

“Some of these landlords should be driven out of business in my opinion. I don’t have a problem with that. Families with young people are being bundled into these poor quality houses, and that needs to change. Some of these houses should have been demolished in the 1960s but were left standing.”

Liam Jowett, housing standards manager, said some of these homes had links to organised crime, and that the team often worked with police if this was the case.

Cllr Berry said: “We need to get the message across to landlords that it is their duty and responsibility to maintain standards in their properties.

“Being a landlord is not just a way to make a quick buck.”

Mr Jowett added: “There are also a lot of decent properties around. We never come across many landlords because we never get calls about problems at their properties.”

The committee asked for a similar report in a year’s time, including a focus on the pro-active work being done by the team.

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