Tenants to be given access to Rogue Landlords Database
Tenants could be given access to a database of rogue landlords as part of several government reforms they say will give greater protection to renters.
The proposal will be open to a 12-week consultation which will also consider whether landlords could also be named on the register for other housing offences, such as breaching the Tenant Fees Act.
The Rogue Landlords Database went live in April 2018 but is currently open only to local authorities. After an investigation by the Guardian and ITV News the government have been prompted to open it up to prospective tenants who will be able to see search for a landlord’s track record.
Landlords can be blacklisted for sex and drugs offences as well as failing to provide proper accommodation.
But the database is far from comprehensive with only a small percentage of the estimated 10,500 rogue landlords operating in Britain currently on it; The Guardian said freedom of information requests earlier this year found that only four landlords had been added, by three councils.
The government said it expects about 600 of the worst landlords to be added in the near future.
Announcing the plans last week, the communities secretary, James Brokenshire, said: “This database has the potential to ensure that poor-quality homes across the country are improved and the worst landlords are banned, and it is right that we unlock this crucial information for new and prospective tenants.
“Landlords should be in no doubt that they must provide decent homes or face the consequences.”
Generation Rent’s director, Dan Wilson Craw, described it as “another victory for renters”.
He said: “Renters have to provide references from employers and previous landlords before a landlord hands over the keys to a new flat. So it is only fair that renters get the opportunity to check that a prospective landlord doesn’t have a criminal record.”
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