Sadiq Khan announces new database of criminal landlords and agents amid opposing industry views

Sadiq Khan announces new database of criminal landlords and agents amid opposing industry views

9:22 AM, 27th April 2017, About 7 years ago 17

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The London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has announced a new database to name and shame successfully prosecuted criminal landlords and letting agents in London.

The database will be published on the Mayor’s website and built in partnership with borough councils across London providing a blacklist of landlords and agents prosecuted for housing offences.

The Plan is to provide greater confidence to tenants allowing them to check their prospective agent and landlord before entering into any agreement and to also act as a deterrent to criminal elements.

The new database is being supported by the Association of Residential Letting Agent (ARLA) and Richard Lambert, chief executive of the National Landlords Association (NLA), who said; “It’s the first time renters have had a central online tool that should take some of the stress out of reporting potentially criminal housing conditions to their local authority.”

However, the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) are opposing the plans and say the database will do little to root out rogue operators. The RLA site the fact that in 2015/16 only 411 landlords were prosecuted in London and 70% of them were in Newham which has the most funding for enforcement.

The RLA want the Mayor to work with government to secure funding for enforcement rather than duplicate a database which is being built by central government under the 2016 Housing and Planning Act.

David Smith, RLA policy director said, “Another database is not the answer. Such lists do nothing to help find criminal landlords in the first place. After all, they are hardly likely to come forward to register to go on it”

ARLA chief executive, David Cox, contradicted the RLA’s stance saying; “We have campaigned for the government’s database of banned letting agents to be publicly available as, with no public access to the database, how will landlords or tenants know if they are using a banned agent? This online database overcomes that problem and means tenants and landlords in London can rent with the confidence of knowing their agent has not committed any offences.”

Initially the database will be built by the Autumn with information from six councils including Newham, Brent, Camden, Southwark, Kingston and Sutton. It is hoped other councils will then come in and contribute.


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St. Jims

9:52 AM, 27th April 2017, About 7 years ago

Shame on the RLA, and three cheers for ARLA.

A rogue landlord who winds up in court will have ignored all of the advisories and final warnings issued by the Council.

If they ignore all of those and are found guilty, why sympathise? We're talking here about the worst of the worst, the ones who make life harder for the rest of us landlords.

Mark Lynham

10:05 AM, 27th April 2017, About 7 years ago

its a shame this cant be done for rogue tenants too.... you should be able to search deposit scheme providers for tenants that have had claims for non payment of rent, surely that would be easy enough to do..

Happy Landlord

10:15 AM, 27th April 2017, About 7 years ago

There should also be a blacklist of tenants - its not all one way. I consider myself a good landlord, but still occasionally have tenants who make my life hell. I have a young couple at the moment who refuse to let my contractors in after they have complained about minor repairs, which they have caused in the first place! They have gone to the local authority housing department making allsorts of allegations. The LA have even agreed that they are 'high maintenance tenants' which is tantamount to agreeing with me, you can bet your life that the LA would at the least opportunity slapped some form of order on me otherwise, so no, whilst there are some bad landlords and letting agents who should be named and shamed there are also a lot of bad tenants who we should all know about. Such a scheme has to work for both parties.

Mark Lynham

10:18 AM, 27th April 2017, About 7 years ago

yes.... to use the goverments favourite phase, there should be a 'level playing field'......

John Dace

10:36 AM, 27th April 2017, About 7 years ago

No problem with this. Just so long as we have access to a database of applicant tenants who are drug dealers, violent, burglars, thieves, anti-social, fraudsters and even tobacco smugglers etc.
Seems fair to me!

St. Jims

10:37 AM, 27th April 2017, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Douglas Barley" at "27/04/2017 - 10:15":

I've had a few VERY bad tenants and I hated it as much as anyone.

But a tenant blacklist would only be fair if the courts compiled it - and I doubt there is the time or the political will for that.

A tenant blacklist put together by landlords (and accepted by the public) would quickly descend into petty and uncorroborated score-settling. I know it would, because I still find myself angry at my bad tenants years later, even though they committed no crime and are now long gone.

Cautious Landlord

10:48 AM, 27th April 2017, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "St. Jims" at "27/04/2017 - 10:37":

'Committed no crime' - presumably you are still angry with them because they wrecked your property (criminal damage), didn't pay the rent (theft) , broke terms of the tenancy - pets, smoking, sub-let, lodgers etc etc (breach of contract) - all crimes in my book. Shame on the country, system and courts that don't see it that way and my Tory MP persists in her diatribe that investment in property is no different from shares, wine, stamps and ISA's hence reduced mtge int relief. I''d love to raid her wine cellar and see how she likes that ! Pathetic state of affairs.

RLA/NLA et al should be working on a way to redress the anti-landlord sentiment in many ways. One way would be such a database of dodgy tenants - then a few more horror stories might come to light.

St. Jims

10:58 AM, 27th April 2017, About 7 years ago

Tenants annoy landlords in lots of ways that are not criminal. It's not a crime to lie, or to be emotionally manipulative, or to drive other tenants away, or to leave the house unlocked - I could go on, and often do!

I do sympthasise with any landlord afflicted by bad tenants, but my point is that society has to be wise in choosing what to criminalise and what to shrug its shoulders at. The behaviours you describe are all crimes and anyone carrying them out carries a theoretical chance of being named and shamed in court, so no need for a database.

Put it another way: I am a middle-aged man who loves his wife, but when I was a young man, I treated young women like playthings for my own amusement. Should I be on a database somewhere? Is that the sort of world we want? Young men are horrible: that's life. Tenants are often horrible to landlords: that's life too. Will a database cure any of it?

Michael Fickling

11:18 AM, 27th April 2017, About 7 years ago

The problem with any one sided "list" such as the one the Mayor is creating is it will have the effect of painting a bad picture of landlords and cant show anything negative on any of the hundreds of thousands of tenants that miss paying rents...or any of the other problems they
can create..such as damage......stealing ...dirt and mess etc etc. which just about all of us have seen occur at some time or other.The media will only report from that list of course. In fact there are almost very certainly more rogue tenants than landlords..and probably certain stats. ( bonds ? ) that would support that...certainly stats on offending and social income type- groups or similar would raise the very strong probability that ratios of law breaking are higher by tenants than landlords. The mayor would of course hate that statement....he would see his
new landlords list as the truth..and justify it as such....but he wouldnt like to handle the real truth! .... Most landlords have never had legal action taken against them by a tenant...but very many of us have had to take legal actions against tenants...often several times...and with
eventual court findings generally in the favour of landlords...and we dont generally bother where amounts are relatively small.
Once again landlords are effectively discriminated against... with this mayors list.. without any balance whatsoever. Perhaps we should ask him if he would support such a problem based list..identifying rogues in any other single section of the community.??...without any opposite to give a balance view. Seems landlords are a minority so its ok to prevent one sided information against them..( mmhh where have we heard that before ! ) discriminate on gender, age, faith or race..marriage..sexuality.etc etc but landlords ..yep no problem. >>>>He cant ethically or morally speak out or resist discrimination against minority groups whilst creating a one sided list such as this...when he would not tolerate let alone create such an index in any of those spheres.<<<<<<< If anyone creates a list relating to any of those areas hes in a tough spot... got himself nicely hooked up..on his own moral maze. His own prejudice against landlords would appear to have clouded his judgement. Can someone ask him how hed feel about the creation of a rogue tenants list and for him to also explain/rationalise his probable contrary positions.

Eileen Grace

12:50 PM, 27th April 2017, About 7 years ago

A comparable model is for the licensing of public houses.Poorly run public houses and the landlords are named, shamed and closed down.

The regular meetings of the landlords combined with their associated networks to keep each landlord informed of latest developments in their area via email, facebook or whatever means that a customer/s can be barred from pubs in the area very swiftly.

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