The Housing and Planning Bill is currently making its way through Parliament following a Government consultation on ‘Tackling rogue landlords and improving the private rental sector’.

They are proposing a blacklist of persistent rogue landlords and letting agents. In response, Paul Shamplina, Founder of Landlord Action, is calling for a blacklist of persistent rogue tenants to be made public.

Some of the consultation’s key discussion points in tackling the worst offenders within the private rental sector include, introducing banning orders and civil penalties of up for £5,000 for rogue landlords, speeding up repossessions of abandoned properties and producing a rogue landlord/letting agent blacklist.

It is currently suggested the blacklist of rogue landlords and agents would be available to local authorities and central Government, enabling them to keep track of those who had committed offences.

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Paul Shamplina, who was part of this consultation, is calling for the Government to show greater equality and more openness. He argues that if there is going to be a list of rogue landlords and letting agents then it should also include agents that have multiple money judgements against them by landlords for non-payment of rent.

Mr Shamplina believes that all associations and redress schemes within the PRS should also put their banned members on this list. He thinks that the list should list should include rogue tenants and, most importantly, all the information should be made public.

He explains:

“We are constantly hearing about ‘rogue landlords and agents’. But to address issues in the private rental sector, we should also consider ‘rogue tenants’. Last year there were 161,000 possession claims issued in England and Wales.

“At present, there is no central database where possession orders with money claims are registered, as the courts do not recognise possession claims with arrears as a County Court Judgement.  If they did, this information would show up on tenant referencing.

“A rogue tenant can move from property to property running up rent arrears and it does not show up on referencing unless the landlord goes to additional expense of trying to enforce the money order. If we are to protect landlords at pre-let stage, in the same way we wish to protect tenants, this should also be made available.”

Mr Shamplina continues:

“The Government is clearly committed to improving standards in the PRS.  One of the greatest challenges is finding a balance between supporting good landlords and agents, whilst cracking down on criminal activity without burdening the sector with unnecessary, expensive regulation. I believe that one of the best ways to do this is by giving the consumer (landlords and tenants) access to information, allowing them to have freedom of choice about who they rent from.

“92% of respondents to the Government survey are agreement that there should be a blacklist of persistent rogue landlords and letting agents”,

Mr Shamplina says making the information available to the wider public would support those reputable landlords and agents and act as an effective deterrent.

About Landlord Action

Landlord Action is a UK based organisation helping landlords, letting agents and other property professionals. As a champion for landlords, it has campaigned extensively and was instrumental in getting the law changed to make squatting a criminal offence.

Landlord Action run a free advice line to help landlords and property professionals understand their rights: 020 8 906 3838

www.LandlordAction.co.uk

1 COMMENT

  1. There are far more votes for politicians in legislating to the specific disadvantage of landlords than in attempting to redress the balance. After all, there are many more tenants than landlords so the electoral logic to favouring tenants over landlords is obvious enough. And while it\’s easy to construct a sentimental story about poor people needing a roof over their heads and being treated unfairly by a flinty-hearted landlord, it\’s harder to get emotional about the experiences of a long-suffering property owner being ripped off by his cheating tenants.

    That\’s why in practice the landlord is at a disadvantage. If a tenant walks out without giving notice there is in reality little the landlord can do but if the landlord doesn\’t give the tenant proper notice to quit he or she can easily be taken to court. Again, if the tenant refuses to pay rent there\’s not much the landlord can do, apart from take the tenant to court which is not just expensive and slow but also ineffective if the tenant still refuses to cough up. The same is true of eviction for serious breaches: the tenant can sit it out for ages while the landlord incurs legal expenses (which are effectively irrecoverable) trying to get him to leave. And the same too for other costs: if the landlord refuses to meet his legal obligations in terms of the property\’s infrastructure such as fire precuations and gas checks he is likely to face fines or even imprisonment by the public authorities as well as, if in Scotland where there is a landlord register, blacklisting from letting accommodation in future; but if the tenant breaches his or her legal obligations by wrecking the property it\’s very hard indeed for the landlord to secure compensation through the courts and there is no interest whatsoever from the public authorities in taking any action against tenants.

    Overall, despite the bleating of the tenant lobby groups who routinely claim that the law is biased in favour of the landlord, the practical reality is that the law is largely impotent when it comes to protecting landlords from bad tenants who regularly refuse to comply.

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