It has been a long time coming, but finally there is a firm date in place for the database for rogue letting agents, AND landlords.
The database, which was first announced in the Housing and Planning Act back in 2016, will finally be launched on April 6th, seven months after it’s proposed October 2017 ‘go-live’ date. It is expected that we will see the introduction of (more) new legislation early in 2018 in order for the database to become active by early April.
The database will include details of all agents and landlords who have criminal convictions or have been issued with banning orders for a range of housing-related offences, and will be available to the central Government and local authorities.
Issues that will result in inclusion on the register include:
- Illegally evicting or harassing a residential occupier in contravention of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977
- Using violence to secure entry under the Criminal Law Act 1977
- Failure to comply with an Improvement Notice
- Failure to comply with a prohibition order
- Offences in relation to licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation
- Offences in relation to licensing of houses under Part 3 of Housing Act 2004 (section 95)
- Contravention of an overcrowding notice
- Failure to comply with management regulations in respect of HMOs
- Providing false or misleading information
Whilst the introduction of the register is a welcome addition to the ongoing regulation of the rental sector, there are some concerns that the details of rogue agents and landlords will only be available to government and local authorities, There are calls for the list to be made more public, with other agents and landlords able to access the list, so that they are able to make an informed decision when choosing which agent to represent them, or even for agents making appointments of new staff. Whether we see developments to the database’s reach in time, if it is successful, is yet to be seen, but it’s implementation must be seen as a hugely positive step forward for the regulation of the rental sector.
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