A NEW £4m fund has been announced by the Government to tackle rogue landlords – but Labour has criticised the move as a "drop in the ocean".

More than 100 local authorities across England have been awarded a share of the cash to crack down on criminal landlords and letting agents.

But Labour have said the cash does not make up for cuts to local authority budget since 2010.

The scheme, the funding for which was first announced in November, will tackle landlords who flout the law by offering inadequate or unsafe housing.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said will “deliver a better deal for renters.”

Councils in the North East have been awarded over £265,000.

The majority of landlords provide decent homes for their tenants, but a small minority persist in breaking the law, making tenants’ lives a misery by offering inadequate or unsafe housing.

The funding will be used by councils to take enforcement action against these landlords and advise tenants of their housing rights. This action will the Government’s ongoing work to make the private rented sector fairer and stamp out criminal practices for good.

Among the councils in the North East to benefit from the funding are: Redcar and Cleveland – to crack down on poor standards in the private rented sector and anti-social behaviour; Gateshead Council – to train enforcement officers to ensure standards are being met by landlords; and Darlington – to combine intelligent data-driven targeting with proactive inspections to tackle unsafe and poor quality housing.

Mr Jenrick said: “It’s completely unacceptable that a minority of unscrupulous landlords continue to break the law and provide homes which fall short of the standards we rightly expect - making lives difficult for hard-working tenants who just want to get on with their lives.

“Everyone deserves to live in a home that is safe and secure and the funding announced today for the North-East will strengthen councils’ powers to crack down on poor landlords and drive up standards in the private rented sector for renters across the country.” 

Labour’s John Healey said: “This puny commitment is a drop in the ocean compared to the cuts that councils have faced since 2010.

“The truth is that the Conservatives have gifted rogue landlords the freedom to flourish by cutting council budgets, weakening their powers and refusing to legislate to drive up standards.

“Renters need a new legal charter of rights with longer tenancies, new minimum standards and rent controls to make renting more affordable.”

Across Yorkshire and the Humber, 22 councils will be funded to train over 100 enforcement officers.