LandlordZONE has published hundreds of stories in recent years about efforts across the sector to reign-in rogue landlords.

They are a small group who, even the government admits, compromises at most 10,000 people or 0.4% of the UK’s 2.6 million landlords.

But they generate a disproportionate number of headlines in comparison with their size, usually when they are found to be running illegal HMOs, contravening selective licensing regulations or being fined for dangerous or substandard properties.

Looking at the LandlordZONE forums, emails from our readers and the comments below our articles about these cases, it’s clear some landlords feel frustrated that good operators rarely get much publicity in the media.

They also feel that the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), and other property industry trade associations, expend too much effort laying into this minority of rogue landlords and too little targeting the ‘nightmare tenants’ who wilfully damage properties, avoid paying rent or run circles around the evictions process.

Or in some cases all three – as we often highlight including, earlier this summer, the case of Lilyana Markova.

After all, the government has set up a national rogue landlord database and is also planning to bring in a landlord redress scheme to enable tenants to gain compensation or action when their landlord falls short of minimum standards.

But what about a rogue tenants database for the sizeable community criminal renters and fraudsters who prowl the PRS, many landlords ask.

As reader Gtim put it recently: “Why is the NRLA not pushing for a more balanced legislative changes; how about a national tenant register to stop rogue tenants from moving from house to house leaving a trail of destruction whilst living cost free.”

Tackled urgently

I put these points to the NRLA. It’s spokesperson has told me in response, that: “Criminal and rogue tenants need to be tackled just as urgently as criminal and rogue landlords and our plans deal with this.

“The NRLA team works day-in-day-out to assist landlords in dealing with challenging tenants, and the harm that they can cause.

“That is why throughout the pandemic we have worked strenuously to ensure that enforcement action could still be taken against anti-social tenants. 

“Our proposals for the forthcoming rental reform white paper include calls for an enhanced set of rights and practical tools for landlords to resolve disputes and legitimately repossess properties, as well as improvements to the court system to ensure possession cases can be heard more swiftly and effectively than at present.”


  1. Taking goods or services without paying for them is a criminal offence so why is not paying rent? Trashing a property can be construed as criminal damage but most tenants who do this just lose their deposit. Whilst this is clearly frustrating for LLs ultimately good tenants also suffer as LLs increase rents to cover costs.

    The lack of any meaningful way of dealing with rogue tenants is another factor pushing LLs out of the PRS. The number of houses available to rent appears to be decreasing at a time when the number of people looking to rent is increasing. Unless the legislation around the PRS becomes more balanced, serving both LLs & tenants, I can see a time of crisis ahead. If the PRS cannot offer homes to tenants who is going to fill the gap? Certainly not LAs or HAs – more likely rogue LLs operating under the radar, offering overcrowded & unsafe housing to desperate people.

  2. Actions speak louder than words, the NRLA’s response to a small proportion of rogue landlords is to seek to establish a national landlord register, their response to a significantly higher proportion of criminal tenants hasn’t led to the same demand for a national register.

    Unfortunately I don’t see that landlords have any real representation currently.

    Our plight in terms of being forced to fill the gaps left by successive governments failure to address the housing crisis rarely gets a mention in the press or anywhere else. Being forced to house tenants who are protected by law from eviction whilst they choose not to pay rent safe in the knowledge that there is little the landlord can do is simply wrong.

    We don’t need yet more issue resolution forums and although enhanced rights sounds great what is needed is a rebalance of the rights and responsibilities in the sector .

  3. One way of resolving alot of this is to make non payment of rent a criminal offence, as would damage to the property. In return, I am sure, Landlords would be happy to be licensed. It would make it more of a level playing field, in that Landlords would be licensed and vetted, eradicating the so called ‘rogue’ landlord.
    However, Landlords would be protected for non payment of rent and damage to their properties. After all no lanlord wants a tenant who does not pay rent, and even worse, if a property is damaged, it means it is not available for a period of time, which in turn will impact the housing market. If Landlords are to be held to account, its only fair that tenants should be as well. Lets face it, could Shelter, Acorn or generation rent argue this? Their getting what they demand, but the compromise would be that tenants would have to behave.


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