Arthur takes a look at new governmental procedures that aim to tackle rogue landlords and letting agents in the private rental sector.
The Government is introducing new measures in a bid to crackdown on substandard practice by landlords and letting agents.
On the 1st October 2017, the Rogue Landlord Database was created and was held by individual local authorities. In February 2018 new legislation was introduced requiring more landlords to obtain a licence from their council.
On the 6th of April 2018 the Rogue Landlord Database was centralised though it is still not open to the public, nor is it open to landlords and letting agents. London Mayor Sadiq Khan chose to make the City of London’s Rogue Landlord Database open to the public and has publicly welcomed other local authorities to submit their data to their Rogue Landlord Database.
Landlords convicted of a range of housing, immigration and other criminal offences such as leasing overcrowded properties, fire and gas safety offences and unlawful eviction, will be added on the database and their information will be available to local authorities. This will enable councils to keep a closer eye on those with a poor track record.
The Government also announced new banning orders for landlords guilty of housing offences. Convicted landlords may be given banning orders preventing them from leasing accommodation for a period of time, ranging from 12 months to life. Landlords that ignore a banning order will face criminal sanctions including up to 6 months imprisonment and an unlimited fine.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will be able to use the database to publish regular updates on the number of landlords and agents who have been banned, convicted of a banning order offence or received two or more civil penalties, broken down by local authority.