First details of the ‘private rental portal’ revealed in yesterday’s Queen’s Speech have emerged.

LandlordZONE understands that the portal will be similar to but more comprehensive than the ones already in operation in Wales and Scotland, using the address of each private rented property in England to create a database of homes and their landlords/agents.

As in Scotland, this is likely to include the owner of the property, the company managing it if applicable and a contact address for the owner/management.

This portal may then be linked to any redress cases linked to the property and its landlord, and will include any information on outstanding repairing standards enforcement orders and other breaches of the Decent Homes Standard.

Landlords are to get their own ‘ombudsman’ service that will enable tenants and landlords in dispute to resolve issues outside of the court system.

Briefing notes accompanying the Queen’s Speech explain that: “The Bill will… help landlords understand their obligations, give tenants performance information to hold their landlord to account, and help councils crack down on poor practice”.

Regulatory info?

But at this stage, it is not clear whether the portal will include regulatory information such as additional or selective licencing, gas safety, MEES and electrical checks.

In Scotland, landlords on the register must use their registration number on property listings advertising their listing so that prospective tenants can check their previous history, a requirement that is likely to be copied in England.

Speaking at an online Geospatial conference yesterday, David Holmes, senior policy adviser for the private rented sector at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), said: “It could provide more data to give local authorities accurate information on private rental properties, and support the targeted enforcement of standards based on a better understanding of the stock.

Obligations

“Also, it could improve private landlords’ awareness of their obligations and be a conduit for communicating changes and provide tenants with more information on the standards of properties they are viewing and obligations a landlord could owe to them.”

If like the Scottish and Welsh systems, landlords in England found to have broken rules could be thrown out of the portal, making it impossible for them to rent their properties legally.

Sean Hooker, Head of Redress at the PRS, says his organisation “looks forward to working with the DLUHC to developer its plans for the portal”.

11 COMMENTS

  1. Sooooo. We have a problem with a minority of landlords that don’t abide by the rules. We have yet another bit of box ticking (with presumably a cost attached) for honest landlords to do. And presumably there’ll be no more enforcement of it than any of the other regulations that the troublesome minority of landlords ignore.
    And it will be interesting to see what information we end up having to make public for all and sundry. If it includes home addresses then that just going to be great for any pressure group that wants to start harassing landlords – but it’s OK, we know that none of them would ever do that don’t we !

  2. Can we have a tenant checking portal too.
    So we can back check their REAL past history before we take them on.
    Works both ways doesn’t it?

  3. I agree with Jane Bond, a great deal is being said about the Landlord’s responsibility and the tenants’ rights but nothing about the tenants’ responsibility and history. Let’s at least have a level playing field.
    With all the other anti landlord legislation, past, present and proposed, including minimum C EPC, removing section 21, landlord register etc. etc., when most small, good landlords have left the sector because of all this, the government may want to consider how to house all those tenants with no homes!! Someone needs to remind government why ASTs were created including section 21. When this is removed, landlords will have to jump through hoops in a court to try to obtain their own property, and we all know what courts think about landlords!!! There should be much stronger punishments for bad landlords.

  4. Sounds like we all have similar concerns. Why does everyone think of landlords as the wealthy bad guys out of a Dickens novel.
    Totally agree with the portal being a two way street, but they’ll play the GDPR card for tenants you watch.
    Problem is the rogues won’t register and will operate under the radar continuing to give the industry this bad image.
    What about a commission based agency whose job in life is to identify these people and bring them to account, similar to what the HMRC have introduced.
    Hopefully this portal, over time, will raise the professionalism of good landlords in the eyes of the authorities and count towards us in the upcoming court dramas we’re all bound to face with good by sect 21.

    • You want a landlord regulator? And one motivated by the profit (commission) of prosecuting landlords?

      Interesting idea 😀

      Also have a chat about ‘bad guys out of a Dickens novel’ with the poster below who is saying ‘I’ll just stick it on the rent’ – LLs may want to sort out if you are playing the ‘hard-done by’ card or the ‘fine I’ll be the bad guy’ card

      Rogues won’t be able to operate ‘under the radar’ because the radar will be everywhere and accessible and the tenant can easily see their landlord has not registered (similar with HMO now just with better accessibility and publicity hopefully).

  5. Doubtless there will be a charge to the landlord for registering a property – which I will add to my rents, along with all the other additional costs being foisted upon us.

  6. Trying to look at removal of S21 positively – it will mean tenants are evicted for real reasons instead of using the S21 route.

    It is then down to LLs to get a CCJ etc against them which will show on future tenant referencing.

    Sadly, too many LLs are not professional enough to do that and/or don’t know what to do as they’ve never bothered to get training.

    And estate agents certainly aren’t paid to work after a tenancy ends (if at all)

    • > Trying to look at removal of S21 positively – it will mean tenants are evicted for real reasons instead of using the S21 route.

      If a dangerous person moved in next door to you. You complained to the landlord, but they are powerless, unless would provide evidence by way of a Witness Statement. It could take months for the case to be heard, in the mean time, your neighbhour is away you made a complaint, they haev seen the evidence against them. Or would you prefer to a Section 21?

  7. No mention about checking whether LL have the correct mortgage or insurance for the tenant types.

    So mass LL mortgage fraud will continue which is extremely unfair on those LL that ARE complying with mortgage and insurance conditions.

    As an example there are reckoned to be 300000 Alleged accidental LL letting fraudulently on resi mortgages with NO CTL.

    On that basis they cannot have the correct insurance.
    This means the lender requirement for correct insurance is NOT being complied with.

    Breaching mortgage and insurance conditions is the commonest fraud by LL in the UK market.

    This new LL portal MUST check mortgage and insurance compliance.

    The 300000 mostly fraudster Accidental LL are housing about 2 million tenants.

    These should be made homeless and Accidental LL forced to move back to their properties.

    Or they should obtain CTL or change to an appropriate mortgage product even though conditions will invariably be worse than their fraudulently used resi mortgage.

  8. My council spent a fortune on a landlord licensing platform. Each council has their own system. Now they have to spend money on another IT system.

    My council’s IT system broke down multiple times…..

  9. I’m unclear why councils abrogating their responsibilities to address complaints now would suddenly start doing so because they have a register of landlords. Currently a complaining tenant can tell the Council who is their landlord. Presumably if the tenant is renting illegally, they wouldn’t complain because they would know the rental was illegal, and the landlord wouldn’t register, so these cases would also be unchanged. Councils can already access land registry records for ownership.
    I think it would be totally inappropriate to make landlord addresses publicly available. Landlords must have some human rights to privacy. Everyone else seems to. With quasi-terrorist left wing anti-landlord groups operating, any landlord could be targeted in their home.

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