ROGUE landlords are being targeted in campaign to drive up standards in bedsit accommodation in Scarborough.
The move is part of crackdown by Scarborough Council to ensure all owners of multiple occupation houses (HMOs) are fully licensed.
Scarborough Council housing manager Andrew Rowe, said: “It is not acceptable for landlords to be running HMOs within the borough without the necessary permission to operate.
“The license is essential to ensure that HMOs are properly managed and regulated and offer safe and decent accommodation.
“Unfortunately history shows that without this proper regulation in place HMOs can be death traps if for example there is a fire, so we will take every action possible against all owners who ignore licensing.
“If you are a landlord running a HMO that by law should be licensed and you are not licensed, you will not only face prosecution but you could be forced to repay rent or have housing benefit recovered for up to 12 months.”
The council now wants to ensure that all 300 or so HMOs which fall under the mandatory licensing scheme are up to scratch by March 31 2012.