Sadiq Khan announces new database of rogue agents and landlords
On 26 April the current Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, announced proposals for a radical new database of rogue agents and landlords. It’s a positive move for the Capital and one which ARLA Propertymark fully support.
In his announcement about the new initiative, Sadiq Khan said that criminal landlords and letting agents who exploit their tenants will be ‘named and shamed’ on a new online database to protect the two million private renters in the capital.
Speaking as he he joined a criminal landlord enforcement raid in Newham, he said:
“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.
“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.”
David Cox, ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive, says he welcomes the move. “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.”
The database, which is expected to launch sometime in the Autumn and will be hosted by london.gov.uk, will initially launch with records provided by six boroughs: Camden, Newham, Brent, Southwark, Kingston and Sutton. Records provided by the other boroughs in London will then be added and made available early next year.
Not only will renters be able to check their prospective new landlords or agent to see if they have been successfully prosecuted by a London borough for a housing offence, but they will also be able to report landlords or agents that they suspect of criminal activity directly on the website.
The database will also be accessible to local authority enforcement teams and the GLA. This part of the database will contain more detailed history of enforcement activity taken against a landlord or agent to support joint working across London.
It will also be developed to ensure the automated deletion of a landlord record on the system once a conviction has reached its expiry date.