Has the Government’s Rogue Landlord-Letting Agent Database Been a Success?
Rogue landlords who don’t maintain properties correctly or treat tenants badly are bad news for the whole of the private rented sector. They’re bad for tenants, and they give other landlords a bad name.
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In order to curb the problem, the government introduced its rogue landlord database with a good deal of fanfare in 2018. The database lists landlords who have been given a banning order, have been convicted of a banning order offence already, or who have been issued two or more financial penalties for banning order offences within the past year.
The idea of this is to help local authorities with enforcement and stop bad landlords from simply being able to move and set up business in another local authority area. London already had a database covering its 33 boroughs and this was opened up to the public in 2018.
For landlords looking to stay on the right side of the law and stay off the database, using the best home inspection software they can find is a good start. With the help of the best home inspection software, landlords can ensure that their properties are in good condition and any faults are recorded and acted upon swiftly.
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Although the rogue landlord database has been up and running for almost two years, it hasn’t made much of an impact so far. A freedom of information request raised by the Daily Mail newspaper’s This is Money website in early 2020 revealed that the database held details of only 21 rogue landlords submitted by 15 local authorities.
In response to these findings, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government says that the database is intended to target the worst and most persistent offenders and that securing convictions and civil penalties that can be recorded on the database is a time-consuming process. Nevertheless, these figures are rather disappointing given that the government estimates that there could be as many as 10,000 rogue landlords operating across the UK.
The ministry has launched a consultation process on whether it is worth expanding the database to include a wider range of offences. The Association of Residential Letting Agents is also supporting making access to the database easier and opening it up to tenants and letting agents.