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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Housing bill: rogue landlords to be banned

Rogue landlords will be banned from letting property under new measures to be brought in under the Housing and Planning Bill.

The bill was introduced to Parliament by the secretary of state for communities and local government Greg Clark on Tuesday.

The part of the bill about rogue landlords and letting agents allows a banning order to be made where a landlord or letting agent has been convicted of a banning order offence. It also requires for a database of rogue landlords and letting agents to be established.

The bill also allows a rent repayment order to be made against a landlord who has breached a banning order.

Matt Hutchinson, director of flat and house share site SpareRoom.co.uk, said: "The booming rental market has a small but worrying dark side – the rise of unscrupulous landlords and agents who seek to prey on tenants. Getting them out of the market should be a top priority.

"A database of rogue landlords and agents could be a vital tool as long as the information it contains is accurate and accessible to those who need it most.

"But we should be wary of piling lots of extra legislation on the sector. The need to clamp down on the unscrupulous shouldn't hinder the vast majority of landlords, who do play by the rules and provide the rental accommodation Britain desperately needs."

  • jeremy clarke

    Define rogue! What's to stop a landlord with a banning order just transferring the property to brother cousin etc. etc.?? What needs to happen is that the property is subject to an order as well as the landlord. Mind you, how often do we hear of directors being banned from being directors only to discover that they were already banned - who keeps a tab?

  • Fake Agent

    This is an issue, Jeremy. How do you patrol it? We often hear of people committing their second or third offence. It's like when football hooligans given lifetime bans from all stadiums in the country - who an earth keeps tabs on that, surely it's easy for people to slip through the net.

    In my eyes, if you've committed a crime that put your tenants in danger or put anyone else at risk, then you should be stripped of all your properties and measures put in place to stop you from being a landlord until you can prove that you won't do it again. Might sound quite draconian, but clearly the deterrents in place at the moment are not working. More needs to be done.

    Rogues know they can get away with a slap on the wrist so they are going to take more risks. Barriers to entry need to be made more stringent or else the problem will get worse. It's unlikely, sad as it is to say, that you'll ever eradicate rogue landlords completely, but you can make it as difficult as possible to make them function. Making sure all landlords and letting agents are licensed, as will soon be the case in Wales, seems like a good first step.

  • Bob Leydon MARLA

    Any steps to improve the letting profession needs to be measured and ensure they do not unduly penalize otherwise good landlords who may have made some basic mistakes. Let those among us who have never made a mistake cast the first stone! However, for those flagrantly breaking the rules and putting tenants' lives at risk, then perhaps tougher measures are required. These two categories of landlord do not belong in the same dock. The legal system does a pretty good job in this respect coupled with the powers available to H&S Executive, local authorities, and redress schemes.

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