The rogue landlord database may be opened up to prospective tenants, according to new government plans.
It launched in 2018, but the names on the list have only been made available to local authorities. Now, the Government plans on making it available to renters in England, as part of a package of private rental sector (PRS) reforms.
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.”
Dan Wilson Craw, Director of Generation Rent, has responded to the proposal: “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.
“This plan is another victory for renters, though we need much more effective enforcement to identify all landlords who have been breaking the law.”
David Cox, Chief Executive of ARLA Propertymark, has also commented: “We have long argued for the database to be publicly available, and we’re pleased the Government is listening. It’s important that everyone has access to the database, particularly so agencies can vet potential employees, and landlords and tenants can be made aware if they’re using a banned agent.
“We do however still believe legislation should be combined with the 1979 Estate Agents Act, as without combining the lists, there is a real danger that a banned sales agent could set up as a letting agent or vice versa which will do little to improve the standards or perception of the industry.
“Particularly in light of RoPA, there needs to be a coordinated approach to regulation and enforcement moving forward. We also believe that access should be granted to professional bodies, such as ARLA Propertymark, so the industry can work together to eliminate rogue operators once and for all.”