Private Rented Sector

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National Database of Rogue Landlords

  • Nov.08.2018: Ministers pledge £2m to help English councils tackle rogue landlords. Fund works out at less than £6,000 per council. The government is to create a £2m fund to help English councils tackle rogue landlords, after a Guardian and ITV News investigation revealed how convicted property owners are continuing to collect rents – often funded by the taxpayer – despite being ruled unfit to let out property. The govt estimates there are 10,500 rogue landlords operating in England. Simon Goodley, The Guardian.
  • Apr.06.2018: John Healey responds to Government’s new national database of rogue landlords. John Healey MP, Labour’s Shadow Housing Secretary, responding to the govt’s new national database of rogue landlords, said: "After 8 years of failure on housing, this is yet another half measure that will do little to help private renters. Since 2010, Conservative ministers have blocked Labour’s proposals to crack down on rogue landlords and stopped Labour councils from bringing in licensing schemes to drive up standards. Labour Party.
  • Apr.2018: Secret rogue landlord database branded 'pointless'. The database of rogue buy-to-let investors has been criticised because it will not be made public. David Cox, chief executive of Arla Propertymark, said: "When this legislation was first announced, we were wildly supportive – anything which will help eradicate bad letting agents and landlords has our full support. However, the outcome is disappointing. This appears to be a pointless exercise; if the list were made public – like the equivalent for estate agents – rogue agents and landlords would leave the market for good". Damian Fantato, Financial Times Adviser.
  • Apr.06.2018: First UK national database of rogue landlords criticised for not being public. The UK’s first national database listing rogue landlords and lettings agents has gone live but has been criticised for not being available to the general public. It means that councils can access the information showing landlords convicted of a range of housing, immigration and other criminal offences will be on the list such as leasing overcrowded properties, fire and gas safety offences and unlawful eviction. According to Housing Minister Heather Wheeler the aim is for councils to be able to share information between themselves and keep a closer eye on those with a poor track record. However, Association of Residential Letting Agents, a national landlord organisation, has pointed out that it is pointless if it is not accessible to the public. "The database won’t be public, which means no one will be able to see it and therefore letting agents and landlords who are on the list can continue operating with impunity. This appears to be a pointless exercise." Wheeler insisted that the list will help make sure that people who are renting are living in safe and good quality properties. Property Wire.
  • Apr.06.2018: New boost to rogue landlord crackdown. Rogue landlords who rent out substandard properties face being forced out of the sector as new banning orders are brought in and a national database of offenders goes live today. Landlords convicted of a range of housing, immigration and other criminal offences such as leasing overcrowded properties, fire and gas safety offences and unlawful eviction, will be put on the new database, so councils can share information between themselves and keep a closer eye on those with a poor track record. The private rented sector houses 4.7 million households in England and the government is delivering these reforms under the Housing and Planning Act 2016. The database will be available to use by councils to crackdown on poor and unfair practice in the private rented sector such as overcrowded, squalid or dangerous accommodation, and to help target their enforcement action. Landlords convicted of offences under the government’s new law may also be given banning orders preventing them from leasing accommodation for a period of time, ranging from 12 months to life. Councils must record details of any landlord or property agent who has received a banning order on the database. Landlords that ignore a banning order will face criminal sanctions including up to 6 months imprisonment and an unlimited fine. Press Release, See Housing and Planning Act 2016, Chapter 3. It was sponsored by Greg Clark and Baroness Williams of Trafford - see
  • See Legislation#Housing and Planning Act 2016 for a link to the discussion on this stupid Act.
  • Jan.02.2018: Taking a look at the London Landlord Database. While government have been faffing around and being generally tardy with the national rogue landlord database, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has stolen their thunder and made a list for the capital available months before the DCLG. You can see this here. Landlords quite rightly perform checks on tenants before taking them on and it’s appropriate that there should be somewhere that a tenant can go to make sure they aren’t signing up to the landlord equivalent of Kim Jong Un. But additionally, the Mayor’s list also contains the names of those prosecuted by the London Fire Brigade and agents expelled from redress schemes, which is really helpful. Ben Reeve-Lewis, Landlord Law Blog.
  • Dec.21.2014: Database Names Rogue Landlords and Agents. A new on-line resource will collect names of rogue landlords and agents convicted of offences relating to their property businesses. Tenants will be in a position to check-out their prospective landlords or letting agents to see if they have a history of offending. The move comes as the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has been forced to release the name of every property firm convicted of housing offences in England and Wales following a ruling by the Information Commissioner. ... The data compiled by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health’s magazine maps firms convicted of dozens of breaches under the Housing Act 2004. Access the Database here. Landlord Zone.

Tenant Fees

  • May.09.2018: Letting fees ban moves closer - but loophole remains. The govt has introduced the Tenant Fees Bill into Parliament, which aims to ban the fees commonly charged by letting agents for new tenancy agreements. This is part of the govt’s promise to make private renting cheaper and fairer and it’s a much-needed piece of legislation. The bad news is that the Bill contains a loophole that could be exploited by unscrupulous landlords by enabling them to charge excessive and unfair charges to tenants in the form of vaguely worded “default fees”. Default fees remain in the Bill despite warnings from Generation Rent, Shelter, and Citizens Advice that these fees are open to abuse, and potentially incompatible with consumer contract law. The Commons Housing Committee report on the Draft Bill recommended that clear guidance needs to be provided on what default fees can be charged for, how much is reasonable, and how this will be enforced. The Tenant Fees Bill also allows for tenants to be charged a change of sharer fee, which is supposedly capped at £50. But it then permits landlords to ignore this if the "reasonable" costs of changing a contract are higher. We raised concerns previously that the proposed cap on deposits at six weeks’ rent is too high for many private renters, two thirds of whom have no savings. Recognising this, the Housing Committee’s report called for a cap to be set at 5 weeks’ rent, yet the Bill retains the 6 week deposit cap. Similarly, the Bill did not incorporate the Committee’s recommendation to only permit landlords to retain a full holding deposit if the tenant knowingly provides false or misleading information. We will work with MPs to raise these issues and continue our work on rethinking deposits to explore how deposits can be made to work better for renters. Hannah Slater, Generation Rent.
  • Tenant Fees Bill 2017-2019,

Sponsored by James Brokenshire


Letting Agents

  • Apr.01.2018: Rogue letting agents face criminal charges. Ministers are to crack down on rogue letting agents in the hope of winning support from “Generation Rent”. Criminal charges will be brought against those who rip off tenants under plans to bring in a mandatory code of practice to tie the hands of managing and letting agents. A new regulator will be set up to police the code, and agents who fail to comply will not be permitted to trade. The housing minister Heather Wheeler said: “We will clamp down on the small minority of agents who abuse the system so we can better protect tenants and leaseholders”. See Comments. Tim Shipman, The Times.


  • Apr.17.2018: One in three UK millennials will never own a home – report. One in three of Britain’s millennial generation will never own their own home, with many forced to live and raise families in insecure privately rented accommodation throughout their lives, according to a report by the Resolution Foundation. It predicts an explosion in the Housing Benefits bill once the millennial generation reaches retirement. It calls for a radical overhaul of the private rented sector, proposing a 3-year cap on rent increases, which would not be allowed to rise by more than the consumer price index, currently 2.5%. The report adds to a growing chorus of demands for rent stabilisation. Jeremy Corbyn called for rent control during his speech at the Labour party conferencelast year. The Resolution Foundation wants “indeterminate” tenancies as the sole form of contract in England and Wales. Landlords have reacted vigorously against any suggestion of rent controls. David Cox, the chief executive of the Association of Residential Letting Agents. Patrick Collinson, The Guardian.
  • Mar.31.2018: Landlords hit with big green bills. From Apr.01.2018, landlords putting their property on the market or renewing existing contracts could have to pay up to £2,500 towards the cost of making their premises energy efficient. Any rental properties without an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E or better may need double glazing, wall insulation or a new boiler to bring them up to scratch. Private landlords renting substandard properties after midnight tonight face fines of up to £4,000. Previously, under the "no cost to landlords" principle, properties could be brought up to band E using 3rd-party funding, such as the Green Deal. Now, landlords are expected to make a contribution to the cost, up to a cap of £2,500. This is expected to affect about 280,000 houses — the 6.6% of the rental sector that has an F or G rating. Richard Twinn of the UK Green Building Council says that the requirements are a step in the right direction, but the £2,500 cap on landlord contributions is "totally inadequate". Landlords say this will hit those who let properties in cheaper areas where three-bedroom flats rent for only £400 a month. According to Arla Propertymark, the regulatory body for letting agents, thousands of landlords may need to take properties off the market and some may be forced to sell. Dan Moore, The Times.
  • Jan.18.2018: Bigoted Landlord Files Criminal Complaint Against Critic Who Called Him Bigoted. In yet another example of how the govt's stated respect for free speech is continually undercut by its actions, a bigoted landlord is bringing charges against a YouTuber for calling him bigoted. Fergus Wilson said he will ‘bankrupt’ Danny Hyde over a video criticising his policy to ban non-white tenants ‘because of the curry smell they leave behind’. TechDirt, Tim Cushing
  • Mar.13.2015: Ministerial statement by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on the PRS. Published under the Cameron-Clegg Ministry, 2010-2015., Tariq Ahmad
  • Oct.28.2014: A Revival of the Private Rental Sector of the Housing Market?" Lessons from Germany, Finland, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands. OECD Economics Department Working Papers, '
  • Oc.16.2015: Guide to Retaliatory Eviction and Section 21 Notices. Residential Landlords Association,
  • Sept.08.2016: One in Five Landlords Expected to Pay More Tax Under Section 24. Jane Ellison, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, announced in the House of Commons that just 20% of private landlords will be forced to pay more tax when the law, which restricts the amount of tax relief that landlords can claim on their mortgage interest payments, comes in. Ellison was responding to proposals for another review of the impact of section 24 on affordable housing. From 6th April 2017, the amount of income tax relief that landlords can claim on residential property finance costs will be reduced to the basic rate of tax – 20%. The changes will be implemented gradually over a four-year period, ending in 2020. The tax rate will firstly be reduced by 25%, then 50%, then 75%, then 100% at the end of the rollout. A recent survey by found that the one change that is likely to discourage landlords from investing further in the property market is the mortgage interest tax relief cut. It is also a concern that the tax restriction will force landlords to put their rents up, as they face dwindling profits. "Tenant Tax", aka S.24 of the Finance Act 2015. Landlord News.

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