Sadiq Khan announces new database of criminal landlords and agents amid opposing industry viewsMake Text Bigger
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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