Reforming the Rogue Landlords Database
31st July 2019
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Tenants could soon be handed access to the Rogue Landlords Database, according to recently announced Government proposals. But is this a good idea?

Launched amid much fanfare in 2018, the Rogue Landlords Database allows local authorities to list people who have had specific convictions for property offences or who have been issued with two or more fixed penalties in the last 12 months. It also lists landlords who have been banned for failing to make a property habitable, or have been convicted of serious offences.

The aim of the database is to ensure that poor quality homes are improved and the worst landlords are banned. As the Government has previously stated: "Landlords should be in no doubt that they must provide decent homes or face the consequences."

The database has faced criticism for only being used by local authorities with no public access, and for only containing 10 names. To put this in context, there are more than four and half million privately rented homes in England.

The new Government proposals intend to open the data to tenants and potential tenants. This latest move will be subject to a 12-week consultation period when further options will be discussed, such as whether to widen the scope of the rogue list.

The broader database could include:

  • listing people with a single civil penalty
  • including landlords who have not committed any offences, but who have been served with an improvement noticeĀ 
  • listing landlords deemed not to be fit and proper on a licence application, who have had their licence revoked, or been made subject to a management order
  • agents who have been removed from existing redress schemes.

There is also a debate over whether or not landlords and agents should be forced to inform tenants that they are listed on the database.

Access to the Rogue Landlords Database forms just one part of a package of improvements to the private rental sector, including ending no-fault evictions, which allow landlords to remove tenants for no reason after their fixed-term tenancy period ends.

While these reforms are attempting to both clean up and tighten up lettings regulation, the changes themselves pose new challenges.

For example, the proposals only apply to England as housing policy is a devolved power in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. A further complication is that the office of the Mayor of London has its own list of rogue landlords and local authorities in the capital have been accused of supplying data to the Mayor and not to the national database.

We will simply have to wait and see what shape the final legislation takesā€¦

If you have any questions regarding the new legislation, please contact Knight Property Management for a free, no obligation chat. Call us today on 01992 308181.

About the Author

Jan and David

Member since: 22nd April 2012

Award-winning letting agents and chartered surveyors regulated by RICS and ARLA.

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