Database For Rogue Letting Agents Largely Ignored
The government’s hugely-publicised database for rogue letting agents and landlords has been running for almost two years and has…wait for it…just 22 entries.
The This Is Money service from the Daily Mail has used Freedom of Information requests to ascertain that the names of only 21 rogue landlords or property agents had been submitted by 15 local authorities since the database for rogue letting agents launch in April 2018.
This contrasts with reported government estimates that there may be in excess of 10,000 rogue landlords alone across the UK, and numerous stories on Letting Agent Today and other publications highlighting offences involving agents and buy to let owners.
There are actually 22 entries on the database but these apply to just 21 individuals or companies.
This Is Money says the entries cover 38 offences committed by the named people or firms; there are three entries for banning orders, 15 for criminal convictions for banning order offences, and four entries for individuals with two or more civil penalties within 12 months.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is quoted by the paper as saying: “The database is targeted at only the very worst and persistent offenders, those who have committed banning order offences. It takes time to secure convictions or civil penalty notices for offences that may be recorded on the database.
“The offence must have been committed after 6 April 2018, the landlord or agent must have been prosecuted and convicted, and the appeals process must be complete. The local authority can then apply to the First-tier tribunal for a banning order and a hearing must be scheduled.
“When a banning order has been imposed, the local authority must record it on the database.”
Last year MHCLG launched a formal consultation on whether to broaden the database to include other offenders; responses are currently being analysed, including that of the Association of Residential Letting Agents – aka ARLA Propertymark – which supports wider access to the database for tenants and agents.