Database of rogue agents and landlords ‘a total failure’ Freedom of Information request shows

Metro newspaper says its FOI request reveals that just 56 property agents and landlords have been blacklisted since the scheme started in 2018.

The Government’s rogue landlord list has failed to highlight as many dodgy estate agents and landlords as expected.

It has been mandatory for housing authorities to report when a landlord or property agent has received a banning order since enforcement rules were brought in on April 6, 2018.

But lax legislation means that housing authorities can use their discretion to make entries where a landlord or property agent has been convicted of a banning order offence or has received two or more civil penalties within a year.

Figures from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) show just 56 private landlords have been blacklisted. Only 99 offences – an average of just 25 a year – have been recorded and just 23 local authorities (there are 333 in total) have submitted entries to register rogue landlords and property agents.

One of the reasons some agents could still be flying under the radar is due to a huge lack of resource in some local councils and the ongoing consequences of the pandemic.

Fahim Antoniades, founder of Wilton Property Finance, says: “A lack of good strong regulation has left a lot of tenants high and dry – not all tenants will have access to the information and tools necessary to make a complaint.”

Name and shame

timothy douglas ropa propertymarkTimothy Douglas, Propertymark’s head of policy and campaigns, tells The Neg that the database was designed to target the most serious offenders.

He says: “There’s no doubt local authorities are under-resourced which will lead to a lack of inspections and so enforcement.

“We are keen for the database to be made available publicly. The threat of name and shame alone will raise standards. Plus, agents would also be able to vet future employees. There should not be allowed a situation whereby you are on the list in the morning and a sales agent in the afternoon.”

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