A team has been created by Northampton Borough Council to scour the town searching for ‘rogue landlords’.
The authority has said the team will target landlords “that do not care about their tenants, neighbours or the local community”.
The council’s cabinet member for housing, Councillor Mary Markham (Con, Obelisk) said: “A rogue landlord can not only make life hell for their tenants, but also an entire neighbourhood.
“Time and again people are telling us what a problem this is where they live. I want people to know that we have listened, and are taking action.”
The team of council officers will check rented houses to make sure landlords are not ignoring legislation designed to protect both tenants and the community.
Councillor Markham said: “We want to work with landlords to raise the quality of properties available in Northampton.
“We have a growing student population, and like other towns we are seeing more and more people renting while they save up for a mortgage.
“So it’s important that we send out a clear message that we are welcoming responsible landlords, and will take action to close down those that turn a deaf ear to the welfare of their tenants and neighbours.
“We now have a team of people out there in the community day-in and day-out to deal with any problems and this plus the hotline is just the first step, over the next few months we will be looking at what else we can do to raise standards across the town.”
The move has been welcomed by the charity, Shelter.
Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive, said: “We are pleased to hear that Northampton Borough Council is committing to firm action against rogue landlords operating in their area.
“Every day at Shelter we see the devastating impact rogue landlords have on people’s lives, and we’ve been campaigning to urge government and councils to crack down on this small but highly dangerous minority who make people’s lives a misery.
“We urge other councils to follow Northampton Borough Council’s lead and do everything in their power to crack down on the worst offenders in their area and stamp out rogue landlords for good.”
The rogue landlord hotline, which launches next week is 0300 3307002.