Those convicted of serious crimes would be banned from becoming landlords under proposals by Labour, who wish to improve the quality of the private rental sector.
The Labour party plans to create a national register of private landlords, of which serious offenders would be taken off, and therefore prohibited from renting to tenants.
Labour announced the plans in a policy review paper this week.
Labour Proposing Landlord Register
The review stated that “a small minority of criminal landlords who deliberately prey on the vulnerable”1 damages the private rental sector. Councils supported the statement, saying that they are aware of about 1,500 serial rogue landlords.
About 3.6m (16.5%) households in England live in private rental accommodation. This includes 1.1m families with children.1
However, the Government have announced that 35% of private rental homes do not meet decent standards for repair, facilities, insulation, or heating. Comparative to 22% of owner-occupied properties, and 17% of social housing.1
Labour says that almost half a million families, and over 100,000 pensioners are living in these below standard properties.
Jack Dromey, the shadow housing minister, says: “The private rented sector has an important role to play in meeting housing need.
“But too many tenants are in poor and sometimes dangerous homes. That’s why Labour has set out proposals to drive standards up and bad landlords out.”1
Labour also believes that creating a national register will stop criminals entering the industry, and also ensure that landlords pay tax. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) says that private landlords avoiding tax owe over £500m.1
Labour also wants to crackdown on landlords using “retaliatory eviction”1 against tenants who report bad conditions of their properties.