New banning orders part of fresh crackdown on rogue landlords

A crackdown on rogue landlords including new banning orders and a national database of offenders has come into effect.

Landlords guilty of a range of housing and immigration offences will be added to the new database, so councils can share information and keep a closer eye on those with a poor track record.

Those convicted of other offences such as leasing overcrowded properties, fire and gas safety offences and unlawful eviction will also be added to the list, which goes live on Friday.

Minister Heather Wheeler said: "I am committed to making sure people who are renting are living in safe and good quality properties.

"That's why we're cracking down on the small minority of landlords that are renting out unsafe and substandard accommodation.

"Landlords should be in no doubt that they must provide decent homes or face the consequences."

MP portraits
MP portraits

There are some 4.7 million households in the private rented sector in England.

The reforms are being delivered through the Housing and Planning Act 2016.

The database, which will be available on the Government's website, can be used by councils to crackdown on bad practice such as overcrowded, squalid or dangerous accommodation, and help target enforcement action.

Landlords convicted of offences under the Government's new law may also be given banning orders preventing them from leasing accommodation for a period of time, ranging from 12 months to life.

Councils must record details of any landlord or property agent who has received a banning order on the database.

Landlords that ignore a banning order will face criminal sanctions including up to six months imprisonment and an unlimited fine.

The database can also be used to publish regular updates on the number of landlords and agents who have been banned, convicted of a banning order offence or received two or more civil penalties, broken down by local authority area.

Shadow housing minister John Healey said: "After eight years of failure on housing, this is yet another half measure that will do little to help private renters.

"Since 2010, Conservative ministers have blocked Labour's proposals to crack down on rogue landlords and stopped Labour councils from bringing in licensing schemes to drive up standards.

"The next Labour government will help renters with new consumer rights, longer tenancies and controls on their rents."