Plans to ban rogue landlords and letting agents from the private rented sector have been set out by the Government.
In a bid to stamp out illegal practices in the PRS, housing minister Gavin Barwell vowed the measures would help “drive out the worst offenders” from the sector.
The banning orders would be issued to landlords and agents who commit “serious offences’ against tenants, such as failing to carry out essential repairs, overcrowding, threatening tenants with violence or illegally evicting them. Offenders could be banned from letting or managing a property indefinitely and have their names added to a national database of rogue landlords and property agents.
Housing Minister Gavin Barwell said:
“Banning orders will allow us to drive out the worst offenders and help make sure millions of hard-working private tenants across the country are protected from exploitation.
“While the vast majority of landlords are responsible we are determined to tackle the minority who abuse and exploit vulnerable people.”
According to the consultation papers, the proposed bans are meant for “the most serious and prolific offenders”, but the Government is also introducing civil penalties of up to £30,000 and extending rent repayment orders to cover illegal eviction and failure to comply with certain statutory notices.
Landlords who have received two or more civil penalties within a year can also be included in the rogue landlords database.
The Government has launched a public consultation into the proposals which will run until 10 February 2017.
If the proposals are approved, provisions on civil penalties and extended rent repayment orders will be phased in from next April while banning orders will be brought into force from October 2017.