ROGUE landlords operating unregistered care homes will be targeted by Thurrock Council.

The council has been handed £27,000 by central government, after it was named as one of 100 local authorities to receive a share of £4million to take on criminal landlords.

The council has confirmed it will use the cash to target landlords who are operating unregistered care homes that provide residential accommodation to young adults from outside of Thurrock.

Council leader Rob Gledhill said: “I would like to thank the government for this funding which will mean that we are able to break the cycle of crime some of these young people can fall into when sent to homes in Thurrock by other local authorities. By taking this innovative approach we will be able to ensure vulnerable young people moved here get the help and support they need to start their adult lives off on the right track in good quality accommodation.”

The work will be undertaken by the council along with Essex Police and the youth offending service in the hope of disrupting gangs and county lines.

Councillor Barry Johnson, cabinet member for housing, said: “This initiative will target exploitative landlords and enable good landlords to thrive. By working with landlords to ensure privately rented homes are safe and well managed, we can ensure that those living in shared flats and houses have access to a good quality and safe home.”

Councils already have strong powers to force landlords to make necessary improvements to a property through use of a range of measures, including civil penalties and banning orders for the worst offenders. But this funding will help to fund specific projects across the country such as the one aimed at supporting young tenants in Thurrock. Announcing the funding, housing secretary Robert Jenrick MP slammed rogue landlords as “completely unacceptable”.