BOLTON Council has received a boost of £56,000 to help tackle rogue landlords who rip off their tenants.

The authority is one of just 23 councils in Britain to receive a share of £4 million, which will go towards rooting out landlords who force their tenants to live in squalid and dangerous properties.

The funding is one of several measures announced by the Department for Communities and Local Government to try and ensure people get a better deal when they rent a home.

They hope to tackle issues including overcrowding and “beds in sheds” — where landlords illegally rent out outhouses as living quarters — which can have a knock-on effect for the surrounding community of increased noise, poor sanitation and anti-social behaviour.

Cllr Nick Peel, Bolton Council’s lead member for environmental services which covers housing, said the news was welcome but comes against the backdrop of cuts to local government. He said: “It isn’t a lot of money, £56,000, and the council has lost a lot of money over the past couple of years — and when we lose money for the budget, we are able to do less.

“This money will help us to continue the work that we do on a day to day basis, which is working with landlords to improve conditions and to take legal action against them where appropriate.

“We have a good relationship with most landlords, but the council does have a number of ways to come down hard on the minority of landlords that we have problems with.

“They are intricate and detailed cases, that take time and effort to work through, and this money will help with that.”

Housing minister MP Kris Hopkins said he hoped the funding would raise the standard of rented accommodation across the country.

He said: “The majority of tenants are happy with their home, but the private rental market is still afflicted by too many unscrupulous Scrooges — miserly landlords who rent dangerous, dirty and overcrowded properties without a thought for the welfare of their tenants.

“Today’s measures will continue our progress, ensuring tenants know what level of service they can expect and, if things do go wrong, giving them the confidence to get help and take action.”