The UK’s first online database of rogue landlords and lettings agents has been launched by London mayor Sadiq Khan in a bid to clean up the capital’s buy to let sector.
The tool has been integrated into City Hall’s website, and will show the names and rental property addresses of landlords and agents with criminal convictions. Details of civil enforcement actions related to housing offences will also be provided.
Another feature of the site enables members of the public the opportunity to submit reports on landlords who they believe to have engaged in unscrupulous practices. Records from the Property Ombudsman; the Property Redress Scheme; and Ombudsman Services, the three bodies that mediate landlord tenant disputes, will also be featured.
Whilst the aforementioned services are publicly available, the site will also host a private database which enables local authorities and the London Fire Brigade to share more detailed information pertaining to offences committed by landlords and agents.
10 of London’s 32 boroughs submitted information to the site at the time of launch: Brent; Camden; Islington; Kingston upon Thames; Newham; Southwark; Sutton; Waltham Forest; and Westminster. Data has also been supplied by the fire brigade.
A further eight authorities, including Barking and Dagenham, Croydon, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Lewisham, Redbridge, and Tower Hamlets aim to add their records in the coming weeks.
Whilst Sadiq Khan is unable to command the remaining 14 boroughs to submit their data, he has allegedly ‘been working in close partnership with all boroughs to develop this new database on a London-wide basis’
Khan commented: ‘Boroughs on the database and I are using our existing powers to help London’s renters – but to go much further we need investment and resources from central government. For a start, they should stop dragging their feet on the creation of the compulsory national database they promised to set up. Before ministers have even laid the regulations for their database, we’ve planned, built and launched ours – and unlike the government’s plans, we have made our database accessible to the public.’