The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has published the full outcome of its consultation: Tackling rogue landlords and improving the private rental sector.
Over 600 responses were given, including one from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) which has analysed the results.
The technical discussion document which was launched back in August set out a series of questions aimed at getting a feel for various measures to tackle the worst offenders in the property lettings industry. Questions ranged from how to tackle rogue landlords to how to deal with abandoned properties.
Some of the key findings are:
- 84% of respondents said that they thought data held by Tenancy Deposit Protection schemes should be made available to local authorities.
- 92% agreed there should be a blacklist of persistent rogue landlords and letting agents.
- 82% said that additional criteria should be added to the 'fit and proper person test' for licensable properties such as HMOs.
- 85% thought that Rent Repayment Orders should be introduced for situations where a tenant has been illegally evicted.
- 51% of respondents said that they thought that a proposed new process for dealing with abandoned properties (where a tenant simply disappears) would be effective.
Some of the measures proposed in the original technical discussion document have been introduced as provisions within the new Housing and Planning Bill 2015-16 which has passed its second reading in the House of Commons.
ARLA chairman David Cox appeared at the Public Bill Committee last week to give further evidence on behalf of ARLA members, where he said of 'banning orders':
"Sales agents can already be banned under the Estate Agent Act 1979, but it's about time that the lettings sector followed suit. The easiest solution would be to add a section to the Housing and Planning Bill which follows a similar structure as that already provided for estate agents in the 1979 Act.
"However, it's important that the banning order is placed on individual agents, not on a company or agency, and if banned as an estate agent you should be banned as a letting agent too and visa versa."