The government is getting tough in its approach to the problem of rogue landlords and letting agents. An official consultation has been launched, which will run until February 10, 2017. Views are being sought on which offences should be considered serious enough to cause a landlord or property agent to be banned from letting or managing rental properties. If a landlord or agent is banned, their name will appear in a national database of offenders.
Consultation on Possible Offences
Possible offences up for inclusion are threatening tenants, illegal evictions, and failing to carry out essential health and safety work, all of which are considered serious. The government’s housing minister hopes the introduction of a banning order will stamp out the problem of rogue landlords and make sure tenants are protected from exploitation.
However, David Cox, managing director of ARLA, is not convinced the proposed banning orders will work in the way the government intends them to do.
“It seems completely illogical that the database of rogue landlords and letting agents will only be accessible to local authorities and DCLG; surely this ultimately defeats the purpose of the legislation? If there is no public access to the database how will landlords or tenants understand if they are using a banned agent and how do agents see if those applying for employment are blacklisted or banned?”
A Holistic Approach
He rightly points out that lists would need to be combined to prevent a people jumping from one profession to another.