Rogue landlords and letting agents who wrongfully exploit their tenants will be named on a new online database aimed at protecting the two million private renters in London.
The measure was announced by Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who said the database would be built in partnership with London Boroughs.
Criminal landlords and letting agents who have been convicted for housing offences will appear on the list. Mr Khan hopes that this will give Londoners greater confidence to rent in the capital, by allowing tenants to check their would-be landlord or agent against this database.
The scheme is due to launch in the coming Autumn and will enable all London councils to easily share information on landlords’ criminal history.
During the next few months, the database will be developed with information from six councils, namely:
Online database to name and shame rogues in the capital
Speaking about the database, the Mayor said: ‘I refuse to stand by as thousands of Londoners suffer sky-high rents and horrendous living conditions in a city they call home.’
‘Today I have seen first-hand the abysmal conditions that some of London’s private renters are forced to endure as a result of rogue landlords. I want to be clear that the vast majority of landlords treat renters well – but a minority are exploiting their tenants and it’s simply unacceptable. This must stop now.’
‘To help renters, I will be working in partnership with London Boroughs to launch my new ‘name and shame’ database of criminal landlords and letting agents to help Londoners before they rent a property, and to deter dishonest landlords and agents from operating.’
‘I fully support the excellent work councils like Newham are doing to target the worst offenders in their borough. I will continue to support them and other boroughs who use licensing schemes effectively to drive up standards in the private rented sector.’
Richard Lambert, Chief Executive Officer at the National Landlords Association, observed: ‘The Mayor’s ‘name and shame’ online database brings information on criminal landlords and agents together to make it much easier for renters to find and avoid landlords anyone who has been prosecuted for housing related crimes. Importantly, it is also the first time renters have had a central online tool that should take some of the stress out of reporting potentially criminal housing conditions to their local authority.’
David Cox, Chief Executive at ARLA Propertymark said: ‘ARLA Propertymark welcomes the Mayor’s announcement today of the ‘name and shame’ criminal landlord database. We have campaigned for the government’s database of banned letting agents to be publicly available as, with no public access to the database, how will landlords or tenants know if they are using a banned agent? This online database overcomes that problem and means tenants and landlords in London can rent with the confidence of knowing their agent has not committed any offences.’