Adur & Worthing Councils have been awarded more than £65,000 by central government to help them crackdown on criminal landlords and letting agents.
The money will go towards identifying local Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) which are not licensed, and also properties which are not meeting legal requirements on minimum energy efficiency standards.
The councils said their Private Sector Housing Team will be able to identify high-risk properties leading to targeted investigations and intervention and, if necessary, enforcement action through the courts.
Adur & Worthing Councils led a joint bid for the extra funding with Arun, Crawley and Chichester councils.
Together, they were five of just over 100 councils to receive funding, with the Adur & Worthing grant totaling £66,899.
Councillor Carson Albury, executive member for customer services at Adur District Council, said: “This funding boost is very welcome. As the demand for private rented accommodation increases, it’s important that we continue to make sure all the legal requirements are being met.”
Councillor Heather Mercer, Worthing Borough Council’s executive member for customer services, said: “The extra funding will be very helpful for the councils to get a clearer idea of the private rented housing stock in our areas so that tenants, including some particularly vulnerable groups, are protected in the private market.”
In making the award, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, said the funds would help councils stamp out exploitative landlords and enable good landlords to thrive, driving up standards in the rental sector.
“Everyone deserves to live in a home that is safe and secure and the funding announced today will strengthen councils’ powers to crack down on poor landlords and drive up standards in the private rented sector for renters,” he said.
The government also recognised the need for better information on housing stock, landlords and agents operating in local areas and that data sharing between authorities agencies would improve targeting and protect the most vulnerable.