Crackdown bid on rogue landlords ‘a costly failure’

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AN £18 million scheme aimed at cracking down on rogue landlords has been branded a costly failure after it emerged that just 11 have been reported to prosecutors over breaches.

Around 100 landlords have had licences refused or revoked in the last five years –just 0.05 per cent of the 200,000 applications since the scheme started.

But Tory housing spokesman Alex Johnstone said: “This farcical programme, introduced with the best of intentions, is failing to deliver at a tremendous cost to the taxpayer.”

Scottish Association of Landlords spokesman John Blackwood said: “The scheme is doing little to inspire the confidence either of our members or the tenants.”

He is now calling for a review of the scheme to make it “fit for purpose.” But housing minister Margaret Burgess insisted that councils are using their powers to impose 4,137 late application fees, and serve 411 rent penalty notices last year, while 100 licences have either been refused or revoked.