Blacklisting and banning rogue landlords

Blacklisting and banning rogue landlords

The Department for Communities and Local Government, as part of the rented housing sector, has published a technical discussion paper on tackling rogue landlords and improving the private rental sector with the closing date for comments being Thursday 27 August 2015.

There will be a new criminal offence targeted at unscrupulous landlords and agents who repeatedly fail to conduct the “right to rent” checks or fail to take steps to remove illegal immigrants from their property. These landlords may face a fine, up to 5 years imprisonment and further sanctions under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The forthcoming legislation will create a blacklist of persistent rogue landlords and letting agents, helping councils to focus their enforcement action on where it is most needed. Also enabling them in keeping track of those who have been convicted of housing offences.

£6.7 million was made available to some local authorities to help tackle the acute and complex problems with rogue landlords in their area, including “Beds in Sheds”. So far nearly 40,000 properties have been inspected and over 3,000 landlords are now facing further enforcement action or prosecution.

The new measures will prevent a landlord or letting agent from renting out of properties if they are repeat offenders.

Other sweeping measures include:
  • Enabling landlords to recover abandoned properties more quickly without the need to go to court
  • Extending Rent Repayment Orders so local authorities can claim back rent payments from landlords who abuse the housing benefit system by failing to ensure the property is maintained to a good standard
  • Enabling local authorities to issue penalty notices for certain civil offences, with the money retained by the council and used for housing purposes
  • A new tougher fit and proper person test for landlords of properties that have to be licenced, to ensure they do not pose a risk to the welfare or safety of tenants
  • Permitting the sharing of Tenancy Deposit Protection data to help councils crack down on rogue landlords who knowingly rent out unsafe and overcrowded accommodation

The measures will apply to England only and the Government are seeking views on the proposals to tackle rogue landlords and letting agents as well as abandonment in the sector where a tenant disappears.

Access to the paper can be found on this link Tackling rogue landlords.

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