In April, new rules came into force that will make things pretty uncomfortable for bad landlords.
The Government brought in a new database that records the names of landlords that have been banned from letting property, as the result of treating tenants badly or being convicted of a letting-related offence.
The steps have been welcomed by local councils and the property sector as a way of protecting tenants from the small (but serious) number of ‘rogue’ landlords.
Councils now also have the power to apply for a ban against bad landlords. Once in place, a ban lasts for at least 12 months and prevents people from being able to make an income from renting out a property. Councils can even apply for a lifetime ban if the allegations are sufficiently serious.
The types of behaviour that could lead to a ban include:
Illegally evicting or harassing a tenant
-Using violence to enter a property
-Failing to comply with improvement notice/prohibition order
-Failing to adhere to HMO (houses in multiple occupation) rules or management regulations
-Providing false or misleading information
-Failing to adhere to an overcrowding notice
Because of the severity of these convictions, good landlords have nothing to fear - it’s very unlikely that you would be found guilty of any of these issues without good reason.
Once a person’s name has been added to the database they won’t be able to operate as a landlord or work as a managing agent. They are also prevented from letting property by teaming up with a family member, friend or business partner.
The database is in place to support local councils in identifying rogue landlords and making sure that once banned from renting property, they can be kept out of the rental sector - even if they move to a new area of the country.
These changes are all part of the Government’s commitment to crack down on bad practice in the private rental sector, address overcrowding, dangerous accommodation and unfair treatment of tenants.
Councils often find that overcrowded and poor quality housing can lead to excessive noise, litter, and antisocial behaviour. Dealing with these issues not only put pressure on local authorities limited resources but our emergency services too, which is why the Government is keen to deal with these irresponsible landlords and agents.
To find out more about banning orders and the landlord database, visit the UK Government website.