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Government sets out on rogue landlord crackdown

Words: Laura Edgar
Housing / Shutterstock_84968503

Housing and homelessness minister Heather Wheeler has pledged to ensure that people who are renting live in safe and good-quality properties as she set out the government’s plans to crack down on rogue landlords in England.

Landlords that are convicted of a range of housing, immigration and other criminal offences, such as leasing overcrowded properties, and fire and gas safety offences, will be put on a new database.

Local authorities will be able to share this information with each other to keep a close eye on those with a poor track record. The move is aimed to help them “target their enforcement action” too.

The database went live at the end of last week (6 April), and is being delivered under the Housing and Planning Act 2016.

Wheeler said: “I am committed to making sure that people who are renting are living in safe and good-quality properties. That’s why we’re cracking down on the small minority of landlords that are renting out unsafe and substandard accommodation.

“Landlords should be in no doubt that they must provide decent homes or face the consequences.”

Landlords convicted under the government’s new laws may be given banning orders that prevent them from leasing accommodation for a period of time ranging from 12 months to life. The database will record those who are convicted.

Landlords who ignore a banning order will face criminal sanctions including up to six months in prison.

These measures follow recently announced powers for councils that allow them to tackle the minority of landlords who rent out overcrowded properties, and impose fines of up to £30,000 for those who fail to comply.

The government also said it would support further measures proposed by Karen Buck MP in a private member’s bill to protect both the social private rented sectors.

Banning orders for landlords and property agents under the Housing and Planning Act 2016 can be found on the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government website.

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