Ministers spell out how they will deal with rogue agents and landlords

The Government’s determination to crack down on rogue operators within the private rented sector has been underlined.

Ministers have spelled out their plans for a blacklist of bad agents and landlords.

Proposals for a blacklist require a landlord or managing agent to “have an office in the UK”.

The blacklists would also rely on data held by tenancy deposit schemes made available to local authorities.

Proposals also say that discrimination on the grounds of race, etc, would be a reason for declining a property licence for an HMO.

This immediately suggests a problem should agents or landlords wish to reject a certain type of tenant in order to escape possibility of prosecution under Right to Rent.

The new ‘technical discussion’ paper was yesterday published by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The paper, which does not identify what “an office in the UK” means, backs up ministers’ rhetoric on Right to Rent.

It proposes how bad landlords should be hit with rent repayment orders and civil penalties if they flout the law.

It proposes that “relevant housing offences” should include overcrowding, illegal evictions and harassment of tenants, and “continuing to let to an illegal immigrant”.

The paper also proposes banning rogue landlords and letting agents. During a ban, it would be an offence for them – or, importantly, anyone associated with them – to be involved with the letting of management of a residential property.

Criminal sanctions would include prison, rent repayment and action under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

An agent or landlord could be banned if found guilty of two more offences.

The paper also drills into other issues, including where rent repayment orders should be made, and where a tenant abandons a property. In this scenario, landlords would be able to repossess their properties more quickly than is currently the case.

The paper emphasises the Government’s desire to engage with agents, landlords, local councils and tenants groups.

Called “Tackling rogue landlords and improving the private rental sector”, the closing date for comments is August 27.


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  1. Robert May

    List of rogue operators within PRS? I bagsy the first two.

    1. HMRC for failing to have any clue  as to the number of landlords or what they should be collecting by way of tax on rental income. they come top of the list courtesy of the belligerent attitude towards anyone who isn’t a from the Treasury or the Cabinet.

    2. CLG possibly a little unfair to nominate a department that is obviously ‘challenged’ (good use of political correctness Robert well done) but I think it is reasonable to expect them to have at least one clue between them.

  2. smile please

    In one story we have the government saying letting agents will now be responsible for immergration checks and in this they will be blacklisted if they discriminate on the grounds of race!

    Glad I do not do lettings but if I did sorry, I would only look at clearly positive British individuals! They would have to come in in top hat and tails talking about rugger and cricket, ask for a cup of tea!

  3. Trevor Mealham

    When are we going to see the legislation that stops councils recommending bad tenants stay and the legislation that helps ‘out’ bad tenants faster

  4. Gump

    Maybe we should have a blacklist of local councils that force their tenants to break the law and stay in a property until an eviction date has been set.

    Anyway, must dash, got an appointment 300 yards down the road, gotta raid petty cash for the £400 cab fair

  5. Woodentop

    It proposes that “relevant housing offences” should include ……. harassment of tenants, ….


    H’mm that fly’s in the face of yesterdays report of a local authority licensing scheme requiring monthly inspections.


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