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Database to help councils crack down on rogue landlords goes live

Rogue landlords are being forced out of the sector as new banning orders and a national database of offenders are brought in.

Landlords convicted of housing, immigration and other criminal offences, such as leasing overcrowded properties, fire and gas safety offences and unlawful eviction, will all be put on the new database.

Councils will be able to share information between themselves and crack down on poor and unfair practice in the private rented sector, helping them to target their enforcement action.

Landlords who are convicted of offences under the government’s new law may also be given banning orders preventing them from leasing accommodation for a period of time, ranging from 12 months to life.

Councils must record details of any landlord or property agent who has received a banning order on the database, and landlords that ignore a banning order will face criminal sanctions including up to six months in prison and an unlimited fine.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will be able to use the database to publish regular updates on the number of landlords and agents who have been banned, convicted of a banning order offence or received two or more civil penalties, broken down by local authority.

The measures follow the announcement that councils will be given new powers to tackle rogue landlords who rent overcrowded properties and impose fines of up to £30,000 for those landlords who do not comply.

Heather Wheeler, minister for housing and homelessness, said: “I am committed to making sure people who are renting are living in safe and good quality properties.

“That’s why we’re cracking down on the small minority of landlords that are renting out unsafe and substandard accommodation.

“Landlords should be in no doubt that they must provide decent homes or face the consequences.”

The ministry says that it will support further measures, proposed by Karen Buck MP in a Private Member’s Bill, to protect tenants in both the social and private rented sectors, forming part of the government’s plan to ensure a safer and stronger housing market.

Top image: Tommy Lee Walker

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