The Government is seeking views from the industry and public about plans to ban rogue landlords and letting agents from operating in the private rented sector.
The ability to ban criminal property managers forms part of the Housing and Planning Act 2016. By means of a ‘banning order’ landlords or agents will be forced to leave the sector altogether following conviction for a serious, specified, offence.
Commenting on the policy, Housing Minister Gavin Barwell recently remarked:
“While the vast majority of landlords (and agents) are responsible we are determined to tackle the minority who abuse and exploit vulnerable people.”
“Banning orders will allow us to drive out the worst offenders and help make sure millions of hard working private tenants across the country are protected from exploitation”
The orders are intended to be used when rogue landlords commit serious offences against tenants.Failing to undertake work required by their council, threats of violence, harassment, or illegal eviction.
DCLG proposes using banning order in respect of:
- illegally evicting a tenant
- renting out a property decided to be unsafe as a dwelling by local authorities
- failing to carry out works required by local authorities to prevent health and safety risk to tenants
- renting out a property to an illegal migrant
- using violence, or threatening violence against a tenant
- making fraudulent applications for housing benefit, or committing identity theft
- using the property to cultivate cannabis
- theft or criminal damage
- colluding with the tenant to commit a criminal offence, such as tax evasion or the supply of illegal drugs.
But details are yet to be finalised and input from those working in the sector is essential. Agents are invited to respond online by 10 February 2017.