A HOMELESSNESS charity has today revealed complaints about rogue landlords remains dramatically high across the region.
Shelter quizzed North East councils and found a total of 142 private landlords were a cause for concern, with more than 3,700 lodged in the last year.
Across Sunderland, more than 20 rogue landlords are alleged to be operating.
In the last four years the council received more than 3,000 complaints from concerned tenants.
Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: “Despite the high levels of complaints, we believe that the number of rogue landlords the North East is still underestimated.
“Some local authorities don’t keep records of complaints and tenants often hold back from complaining out of fear of the consequences or because they don’t believe their voices will be heard, even though such a high proportion of complaints is about life-threatening issues.
“Every day at Shelter we see the devastating impact these landlords have on people’s health and wellbeing.
“In the North East there could be thousands more victims of these operators, trapped in homes that cause misery and, in some cases, put lives at risk.”
Shelter’s investigation also showed that in the North East the number of successful prosecutions made against private landlords has gone up by 91 per cent in the last year.