The mayor of London Sadiq Khan yesterday launched a new public online database which ‘names and shames’ dodgy landlords and letting agents who have been successfully prosecuted or have faced civil enforcement action for housing offences.
The idea behind the new database, which contains a tool for tenants to report landlords they suspect of unscrupulous practices, is to provide those looking to rent in London with greater confidence by enabling them to check a prospective landlord or letting agent, with a view to ultimately deterring rogue landlords and letting agents from operating in the industry in the capital.
Khan said: “Many landlords and agents across London offer a great service - but sadly some don’t.
“My new database is about empowering Londoners to make informed choices about where they rent, and sending rogue operators a clear message: you have nowhere to hide.”
Records from 10 London boroughs, including Brent, Camden, Greenwich, Islington, Kingston, Newham, Southwark, Sutton, Waltham Forest, Westminster, as well as the London Fire Brigade have been published on the database.
Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of Brent Council, which is one of the first London boroughs rolling out the Greater London Authority's Rogue Landlord and Agent Checker, commented: “Our inclusion in this first wave reflects the trailblazing work carried out by our licensing enforcement team in cracking down on rogue landlords who exploit tenants.
“Brent has played a key role in helping the GLA to design how the system works. We believe the GLA database will further empower renters in Brent against criminal landlords and continue to raise living standards within the borough.”
A further eight boroughs - Barking and Dagenham, Croydon, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Lewisham, Redbridge and Tower Hamlets - have agreed to submit records in the coming weeks.
Cllr Harbi Farah, Brent’s cabinet member for housing and welfare reform, said: “We want to put an end to rogue landlords exploiting the housing crisis by taking money from tenants living in poorly managed properties and in sub-standard conditions.
“The Rogue Landlord and Agent Checker is a deterrent to any landlord thinking of going down that route. It will also empower tenants to make the best possible choice about who they decide to pay their rent to.”