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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Rogue landlord database to be made freely available, says PM

Tenants will be offered access to the government’s rogue landlord database under fresh plans unveiled by Theresa May.

The Prime Minister was under growing pressure to act after a Guardian and ITV News investigation this week revealed that not a single name had been entered into the system in more than six months since its launch.

Even when landlords’ names are listed on the database, members of the general public are not permitted to see them, under the existing rules, but that is about to change.

The PM’s official spokesman said: “Our rogue landlord database has only been in place since April and has been warmly welcomed by councils as an important enforcement tool.

“As we have said, only offences committed from April this year can be included, and it can take several months to secure convictions. We are clear that we expect to see entries in the database from the new year. We also intend to make information in the database available to prospective and existing tenants.”

The government estimated before the launch of the database that there were 10,500 rogue landlords operating in England, and said it expected more than 600 of the worst offenders to be entered into the system.

Before the change in policy, the contents of the database had been planned to be kept secret from the public because the government claimed that it was “not in the public interest” to explain why that decision had been made.

May’s decision to make the rogue landlord and letting agent database available to tenants has been warmly welcomed by various trade organisations, including ARLA Propertymark.

In a letter sent out to its members yesterday, David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark, wrote: “ARLA Propertymark has long campaigned for this, repeatedly stating that the database will be completely pointless unless tenants, employers and professional bodies can check against the entries before taking a property, employing an agent or accepting an agent into membership.

“The database has been under fire this week amid reports that no individuals have been added, six months after it was established.

“The announcement is a triumph for the industry. Hiding this essential information is a prime example of the government failing to see unintended consequences of a vital policy. For this reason we have branded the database ‘truly ridiculous’ up until now.

“ARLA Propertymark is delighted that government have finally listened to what the industry has been saying since it was put into the Housing and Planning Bill nearly three years ago. We hope the database will now fulfil the objective of professionalising the sector, which we all wanted it to.”

Poll: Do you think that the database will help professionalise the private rented sector?

PLACE YOUR VOTE BELOW

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    Can we please have a database of rogue tenants whilst you are at it?

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    You beat me to it with this. I’m sure the answer will be “Oh no, that would breach their data protection and civil rights” Would rather let them head off into the sunset to create havoc and damage to another innocent landlords property anonymously! Makes my blood boil!

     
  • David Lester

    Great idea, protect those who are doing the job correctly!

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    Yep I’m more than happy with this. Rogue landlords aka people that happen to think UK tenancy and housing laws do not apply to them

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    Presumably you agree with the need for a “rougue tenant register then”? ... which will never happen sadly!

     
  • Bill Wood

    Why should tenants only be allowed to view this? I would like to have a look too.
    And who are tenants and prospective tenants anyway? Do I have to apply for a tenancey to have a look?
    Anyone can apply for a tenancy, so surely it means that anyone, if they jump over this low hurdle, can have a look?

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    I don't have a problem here, maybe we won't all be tared with the same brush then. However it's generally the case that rouge landlords house the rouge tenants, so where will the rouge tenants go, camping in shop door ways? the local council's problem then.

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    100% Alastair J McMurdo. We have been asking for this for years. If this register is established then a tenant one logically has to follow 😊 and as Andrew rightly says they will be sleeping in doorways

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    It will be difficult to identify who the rogue landlords actually are.
    Most of them operate 'under the radar' and rent to tenants who would otherwise not be able to fulfil the criteria of a genuine landlord.
    Rent Smart Wales rely on information from tenants etc to identify these rogue landlords.
    Good luck with that I say, as the tenants are unlikely to intentionally make themselves homeless?
    When I recently challenged them as to why they aren't proactive and visiting areas where there are likely to be non- licensed landlords, they just repeated that they relied on information received.
    Unless these rogue landlords are brought to the attention of the authorities in some way, then it simply won't work and the database will be hopelessly incomplete.
    There have been a minuscule amount of high profile prosecutions since this licensing debacle in Wales was initiated and they have failed to route out the rogue landlords who remain under cover until discovered, if ever?

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