Rogue landlords who rent out second-rate properties face being forced out of the sector as new banning orders are brought in and a national database of offenders goes live today (6 April)
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 put on the new database, so councils can share information and review those with a poor track record.
The private rented sector houses 4.7 million households in England and the government is delivering these reforms under the Housing and Planning Act 2016 so everyone has a safe and decent place to live.
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 database will be available to use by councils to crackdown on poor and unfair practice in the private rented sector such as overcrowded, squalid or dangerous accommodation, and to help target their enforcement action.
Rogue landlords convicted of offences under the government’s new law may also be given banning orders preventing them from leasing accommodation for a period of time, ranging from 12 months to life. 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 6 months imprisonment and an unlimited fine.
The department 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 area.
These measures follow the announcement that councils are also being given tough new powers to tackle the small minority of rogue landlords who rent out overcrowded properties and impose fines of up to £30,000 for those landlords who do not comply. Overcrowded and poor quality housing can result in excess noise, increased demand on local services such as waste collection and anti-social behaviour generally.