Are DBS checks reasonable for landlord licensing?Make Text Bigger
Bath and NE Somerset Council have introduced a basic DBS check as part of its new licensing requirements. It also has a Fit and Proper Person form that must be completed by the proposed licence holder.
If you lie when signing the declaration the Council says it can prosecute you – fair enough.
The declaration for the F&PP form states;
- “Do not have any unspent convictions particularly in respect of any offence involving fraud or other dishonesty, or violence or drugs, or any offence listed in Schedule 3 to the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (offences attracting notification requirements);
- Have not been found guilty by any court or tribunal of practising unlawful discrimination on grounds of sex, colour, race ethnic or national origins or disability in, or in connection with, the carrying on of any business:
- Have not had any judgements (whether civil or criminal) against me under housing, environmental health, public health or landlord and tenant law;
- Have not acted otherwise than in accordance with any applicable code of practice approved under section 233 of the Housing Act 2004.
“And to the best of my knowledge (i) to (iv) above do not apply to anyone who is associated with me whether on a personal, work or other basis (includes husband, wife, colleague, business partner and employees).”
As I see it, having signed to say you don’t have ANY unspent convictions, the DBS check becomes irrelevant. What is more, it is a time consuming process.
Furthermore, it is absurd to expect a landlord to know if cleaners, plumbers or electricians have unspent convictions, rendering that part of the declaration meaningless.
Clearly, the Council doesn’t trust landlords, but do they apply the same standards to other agencies, such as the local housing association, the university accommodation office of the staff of Unite?
This requirement seems too onerous to me and contravenes my human rights in that the Council blatantly doesn’t trust any private landlords.
Where do we stand on this do you think?
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