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homeFriday 22nd September 2017

London to launch rogue landlord database

Stuart Spear03/05/2017 - 14:18

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London Mayor Sadiq Khan
London Mayor Sadiq Khan

London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has announced the planned launch of a rogue landlord database to protect the capital’s two million private renters.

He made the announcement while joining a housing raid in Newham carried out under the council’s borough-wide licensing scheme. Newham Council was in 2013 the first council to be granted borough-wide licensing.    

The new database will be initially built in partnership with six London boroughs with other councils expected to be come on board after the launch this autumn. The six councils are: Newham, Brent, Camden, Southwark, Kingston and Sutton.

Participating councils will be able to share information on their enforcement investigations listing the criminal activity of both landlord’s and letting agents who have been successfully prosecuted for housing offences.

It will also enable prospective tenants to check the credibility of a landlord or of a letting agency they may be considering to use. They will also be able to report the activities of criminal landlords on the London.gov.uk website.

‘To help renters, I will be working in partnership with London Boroughs to launch my new “name and shame” database of criminal landlords and letting agents to help Londoners before they rent a property, and to deter dishonest landlords and agents from operating,’ said Mr Khan.

‘I fully support the excellent work councils like Newham are doing to target the worst offenders in their borough. I will continue to support them and other boroughs who use licensing schemes effectively to drive up standards in the private rented sector.’

Former EHN Extra editor, Tom Wall, has been informally advising the Mayor’s office over the setting up of the database following EHN’s landmark legal victory over the Ministry of Justice and Information Commissioner.

In a legal ruling prompted by EHN in July 2015 the Government was forced to release the names of hundreds of convicted private landlords making the data public for the first time.

Richard Lambert, chief executive of the National Landlords Association, said: The Mayor’s ‘name and shame’ online database brings information on criminal landlords and agents together to make it much easier for renters to find and avoid landlords anyone who has been prosecuted for housing related crimes.

‘Importantly, it is also 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.’

Seb Klier, London Campaigns Manager at Generation Rent, said: ‘This new initiative will empower renters by allowing them to check if a landlord has committed a recent housing offence, and it will put the capital’s worst offenders on red alert, letting them know that if they mistreat their tenants, they will be exposed.’

Mr Khan has also announced plans for a new Homes for Londoners property portal on City Hall’s website listing affordable properties to buy and rent across the capital.

These new initiatives come as the Labour party has said that its manifesto will include a commitment to consult with landlords about the introduction of new minimum standards in the private rented sector.

In particular, said shadow housing secretary John Healey, the standards will focus on issues around wiring, damp, sewage, water facilities, decent kitchens, electrical standards, pest control and gas leaks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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