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Consultation on Database of rogue landlords and property agents

Sunday 21 July 2019

The UK Government has launched a consultation on the Database of rogue landlords and property agents. The database was introduced in April 2018 under the Housing and Planning Act 2016 as a tool for local housing authorities in England to keep track of rogue landlords and property agents.

Under the Housing and Planning Act 2016, a local housing authority must make an entry on the database where a landlord or property agent has received a Banning Order. Only local housing authorities have access to the database. The database is not open to letting agents, landlords, tenants or the general public.

Local housing authorities have the discretion to make entries where a landlord or property agent has been convicted of a Banning Order offence or has received two or more civil penalties within a 12-month period.

Following pressure from ARLA Propertymark, in October 2018, Prime Minister Theresa May announced the Government’s intention to make the Database available to view for tenants and prospective tenants, at the time of writing the database is still not publicly accessible. More info...

Publicly available

ARLA Propertymark have long called for the Database of rogue landlords and property agents to be publicly available. This would allow agencies to check the Database to vet potential employees and ensure landlords and tenants know if they are using a banned agent. We also believe that access to the list should be granted to industry bodies such as ARLA Propertymark.

'We have long argued for the database to be publicly available, and we’re pleased the Government is listening. It’s important that everyone has access to the database, particularly so agencies can vet potential employees, and landlords and tenants can be made aware if they’re using a banned agent.

'We do however still believe legislation should be combined with the 1979 Estate Agents Act, as without combining the lists, there is a real danger that a banned sales agent could set up as a letting agent or vice versa which will do little to improve the standards or perception of the industry. Particularly in light of RoPA, there needs to be a coordinated approach to regulation and enforcement moving forward.

'We also believe that access should be granted to professional bodies, such as ARLA Propertymark, so the industry can work together to eliminate rogue operators once and for all'.

David Cox, ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive

Joined up thinking

Many letting agents are also sales agents and therefore regulated under the Estate Agents Act 1979. Consequently, we believe that being banned under Estate Agents Act 1979 should also constitute a Banning Order offence under the Housing and Planning Act 2016. Without combining the lists, there is a very real danger that a banned sales agent could set up as a letting agent or vice versa which will do little to improve the standards or perception of the industry

The consultation asks questions about who can access the Database and what information should be held on it.

View the consultation