A LANDLORD association boss has defended its Bolton members in light of a council grant to tackle rogues who give the profession a bad name.

Sharon Betton, business development officer for the North West Landlords Association, said landlords who treat tenants badly were in the minority in Bolton.

The not-for-profit organisation, based in New Hall Lane, Heaton, has more than 450 members and provides help and advice to landlords all over the region.

Ms Betton’s comments come after The Bolton News reported how the council has received £56,000 from the government to tackle ‘unscrupulous landlords’ and issues such as overcrowdings and ‘beds in sheds’.

It is one of just 23 councils in Britain to receive the cash.

Ms Betton said: “There are a minority of ‘rogue’ landlords in the borough because of the very good working relationship Bolton has with private landlords.

“The mantra of most of the landlords we work with is, ‘is it good enough for me to live in it?’ and that’s not a side we often see in the media, which I find very worrying.”

She added that the impending shift to universal credit — which will replace six existing benefits with a single monthly payment — means it is more important than ever that landlords and the council work together and urged tenants to speak up if there were problems.

“There are ways of tenants protecting themselves — by checking the accreditation system or making a report before they’ve fallen into arrears — but so often tenants don’t protect themselves”, said Ms Betton.

“Maybe it’s because they’re vulnerable, or they don’t know, but we’ve got to move away from the idea that things happen to tenants and they don’t have any say or impact on the way they live.”