Crackdown on “beds in sheds” landlords
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by Gill Montia
A national taskforce has been set up to tackle the issue of “beds in sheds” and take action against criminal landlords harbouring illegal immigrants.
Housing Minister, Grant Shapps, and Immigration Minister, Damian Green, are holding a series of cross-Whitehall summits with representatives from the police, the UK Border Agency and local government.
Together, they intend to find ways of closing down thousands of sheds and outbuildings which the Government believes are being rented out illegally to migrants, including some with no right to be in the UK.
Such “tenants” are usually being exploited by ruthless landlords who charge extortionate rent for shanty-town accommodation that can be plagued with rats and cockroaches.
Minister are now considering how to:
Encourage councils to make greater use of legal powers across planning, fire safety, housing and environmental health.
Get a better measure of the extent and nature of the problem, drawing on information collected by Whitehall and Town Halls.
Ensure councils and the police share both the intelligence available and enforcement activity.
Work more closely with organisations such as the Indian High Commission to help those wanting to return home.
Mr Shapps says: “I want to see a crackdown on these criminal landlords.
“So today we are launching a national taskforce, made up of the police, local councils, the UK Border Agency and HM Revenue and Customs to close down these ‘beds in sheds’, help those living there to be reunited with their families and ensure their so-called landlords feel the full force of the law.”
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