COUNCIL chiefs have warned rogue landlords that they are at risk of being ‘struck off’ as property letting rules are tightened within Inverclyde.

Municipal Buildings bosses are launching a new crackdown on unscrupulous individuals in the buy-to-let market.

They have set up a special committee to examine the issue — and say certain landlords are ‘failing to perform to an acceptable standard’.

The test for deciding if a landlord or letting agent is a fit and proper person has been reviewed and amended to include various factors, including relevant criminal convictions.

Communities committee convenor Councillor Terry Loughran said: “The majority of landlords and agents are working with the council to support good quality housing and proper management.

“However a small number are failing to perform to an acceptable standard as far as the housing legislation is concerned, so it is a good time to review and revise the council’s approach to dealing with them.”

Other aspects of letting being taken into consideration include failures to properly address anti-social behaviour by tenants and information relating to housing benefit fraud.

Councillor Loughran said: “More than 3,000 landlords and agents have applied to Inverclyde Council for registration and only three have had their registration refused or removed as a result of breaching the criteria.

“The private rental sector has a major role to play in helping us to achieve our housing goals in Inverclyde and to promote Inverclyde as a place to live and work.

“A few bad apples cannot be allowed to spoil the whole  barrel and we owe it to the responsible landlords and agents — as well as their tenants — to ensure standards are maintained.”