The British government is using its own property portal to target rogue landlords and drive them out of the sector.
Its database of rogue landlords and property agents was originally launched in April 2018. Since then, when enforcement rules were introduced, it has been mandatory for housing authorities to report when a landlord or property agents has received a banning order.
According to a report on industry website The Negotiator, it has largely failed to identify as many rogue landlords and estate agents as anticipated. This is because lax and poorly enforced legislation means housing authorities have been able to use their discretion to make entries when an agent or landlord ahs been convicted of an offence and received a banning order or if they have received two or more civil penalties within a year.
Data on the portal will now become publicly available so tenants can check to see if their current or prospective landlord is on the register. The new portal will provide a single point for landlords to understand their responsibilities and tenants will be able to see if their landlord is compliant as well as enabling local councils to target criminal landlords and improve transparency.
The government has been consulting on reforming the rogue landlord database and will now use its own portal to ensure tenants, landlords and local councils can all easily access the information they need.
“We also intend to incorporate some of the functionality of the Database of Rogue Landlords, mandating the entry of all eligible unspent landlord offences and making them publicly visible,” a spokesperson for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC), told The Negotiator.
A government White Paper, ‘A fairer private rented sector,’ published in June 2022, set out how the portal will support good landlords to demonstrate regulatory compliance and to attract new tenants.
It said: “The portal will act as a trusted one-stop-shop for guidance on renting in the PRS – levelling up awareness of tenants’ and landlords’ rights and responsibilities across the country.”