Four years after it was launched, the number on the Rogue Landlord database has only crept up to 61 out of the thousands claimed to be operating within the private rental sector, the latest government figures show.
Asked by opposition MP Gill Furniss to provide an update, Housing Minister Eddie Hughes revealed that of those 30 councils who have put landlords on the database, Camden had reported the highest number with 10 landlords, followed by Liverpool and Salford (four), Bournemouth, Hinkley & Bosworth, Telford & Wrekin and Walsall (three).
The database is designed to enable local authorities to target the most prolific offenders - those who have been convicted of banning order offences or have received at least two financial penalties within 12 months. It also aims to encourage joint working to tackle rogue landlords working across council divisions.
However, many councils lack the funds to chase up rogue or criminal landlords, or the resources to identify landlords who meet the criteria. It has led to many calls questioning whether the list is of any use, and has informed criticism of the government's current plans to introduce a national landlord database.
According to The Times, the government is set to announce a new national register of landlords this week as part of its levelling up legislation, with plans to eject rogue operators.
Housing campaigners claim the government has hugely underestimated the numbers involved and believe a model similar to the GLA landlord checker would be more practical as this shares information over neighbouring London boroughs.