The deadline is approaching for those interested in gaining access to the rogue landlords and property agents database (‘the database’) to have their say. The current consultation process closes on 12 October.
The government is consulting on widening the access to, and the scope of, the database that was introduced in April 2018, as part of the Housing and Planning Act 2016.
In particular, they are considering whether the database should be made available not just to local authorities, but also to tenants.
As reported by Practical Law, currently, the database collects data on only the most serious and prolific criminals, who are convicted of the limited range of banning order offences. A local authority must make an entry onto the database where a landlord or property agent has received a banning order. Where a landlord or property agent has been convicted of a banning order offence or has received two or more civil penalties for such an offence within a 12-month period, the local authority has discretion to make an entry on the database.
Access to the database is currently limited to local authorities except in certain circumstances where the Secretary of State may disclose information if it is anonymised.
The consultation seeks views on:
- Opening up access to the database to tenants and prospective tenants.
- Expanding the scope of offences and infractions. Annex B to the consultation contains a list of proposed offences and infractions for inclusion on the database. These include:
- causing or permitting overcrowding;
- failing to belong to a redress scheme;
- failing to provide a free Energy Performance Certificate to tenants; and
- a conviction for offences linked to modern slavery.
If you are interested in putting forward your views, you can access the consultation here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/rogue-landlord-database-reform