Steve Lees, chair of SWLA, was invited to attend a focus group meeting in Bristol on Monday 9th March 2020 hosted by the Private Rented Sector Division, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. The aim of the focus group is to reform the database of rogue landlords and property agents.
The database of rogue landlords and property agents was introduced in April 2018. The database is targeted at only the most serious and prolific criminals, who are convicted of the limited range of banning order offences. The database is currently an enforcement tool available to local authorities, except in certain circumstances where anonymised, aggregated data can be requested by the public.
In October 2018, the Prime Minister committed to opening up access to information on the database of rogue landlords and property agents to tenants. A government consultation (now closed) was seeking views on widening access to the database to allow tenants and prospective tenants access to the database. To ensure that the database is a useful tool for local authorities and tenants, the government are seeking views on expanding the scope of offences and infractions which could lead to entries on the database.
The meeting in Bristol was a chance for landlords and PRS representatives to discuss changes to the database that would benefit tenants and good landlords alike.