A new scheme designed to expose and punish rogue landlords in Derby could be in operation before the end of the year.
City councillor Baggy Shanker says that he is determined to clampdown on bad landlords in Derby and in order to do so will replace an existing system, which has been run by the authority since 2008, that he insists is no longer “fit for purpose”.
If Labour succeeds in retaining control of the council following this week’s local elections, Shanker vows that he will make it much harder for bad private landlords to operate in Derby by allowing members of the public to freely access a city council-accredited list of people letting out homes.
Under the existing system, the council conducts its own research to ensure that landlords are fit and proper. However, the public currently cannot access the list of landlords without contacting the council direct to access feedback about the landlord, including whether or not they are accredited.
Shanker wants the new proposed scheme, which would be entirely voluntary, to work like an “MOT check” for both the landlord and their properties. It would see an open register made available on the council’s website that is similar to a Trusted Trader initiative run by Derbyshire County Council which permits people to check if a firm or tradesperson is considered trustworthy and dependable.
The new landlords list would include typical health and safety checks, like ensuring a property has a gas certificate, but also checking to see whether the council has previously received complaints about a landlord, whether they are using a deposit scheme, and even whether the cost of renting a property is suitable for the area it is in.
Shanker said: “We are thinking we should work the good landlords. Exclude the bad ones and then people will stop using them. Some of the initial feedback [from city landlords] is that they are up for discussing the scheme. We would start it in certain wards, Normanton, Arboretum, Sinfin, some parts of Abbey ward. We may even be able to do it in selected streets.”