National database of rogue landlords goes live
A national database of 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, has gone live.
The government said the database would be available to use by councils to crack down on poor and unfair practice in the private rented sector such as overcrowded, squalid or dangerous accommodation, and to help target their enforcement action.
Landlords may now be given banning orders as well, preventing them from leasing accommodation for a period of time, ranging from 12 months to life.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said councils must record details of any landlord or property agent who has received a banning order on the database.
Landlords that ignore a banning order will face criminal sanctions including up to six months’ imprisonment and an unlimited fine.
The Ministry said it would 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 area.
Minister for Housing and Homelessness Heather Wheeler said: “I am committed to making sure people who are renting are living in safe and good quality properties. That’s why we’re cracking down on the small minority of landlords that are renting out unsafe and substandard accommodation.
“Landlords should be in no doubt that they must provide decent homes or face the consequences.”
The following guidance for local housing authorities has been published:
the database of rogue landlords and property agents (published April 2018)
banning orders (April 2018)
civil penalties (April 2017)
rent repayment orders (April 2017)
The government has also indicated that it will support further measures proposed by Karen Buck MP in a Private Member’s Bill to protect tenants in both the social and private rented sectors.