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A new petition has launched that calls on the Government to adopt five measures to put an end to the Exempt Accommodation crisis in Birmingham.

Shabana Mahmood MP has joined Councillor Sharon Thompson, Cabinet Member for Housing and Neighbourhoods, to call on the Government to adopt a range of measures that would give Local Authorities greater powers of regulation.

In Birmingham, nearly 19000 exempt accommodation units exist in the sector- a nearly two-fold increase in the last 18 months.

The vast majority of these units are provided by Housing Association accommodation, with private landlords building up portfolios of leased and owned accommodation and then applying for registered provider status, exempting them from licensing regulations.

Shabana Mahmood MP said:

“The proliferation of poorly-managed Exempt Accommodation isn’t just a scandal waiting to happen – it’s a scandal already unfolding in communities across Birmingham.

“Rogue landlords presiding over a rapidly growing sector, providing little to no support for vulnerable residents, are reaping the dividends of a system ripe for exploitation.

“In Birmingham, nearly 19000 exempt accommodation units exist in the sector.

“Some of those will belong to good providers, but an increasing number of cowboy operators are building vast portfolios of properties and causing misery for residents, with issues of organised crime and antisocial behaviour thriving.

“Nothing short of a change in the law will drive out the rogue players in the sector. A beefed-up regulator enforcing a new definition of ‘support’ written into law will help to clean up the sector.

“We’re calling on the Government to adopt the five measures in our petition to end this scandal once and for all, and finally give tenants and residents the secure homes and safe communities they deserve.”

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