A database of letting agents and landlords who have been convicted of certain offences will only be accessible by local housing authorities and the Government.
It would not be open for inspection by landlords or tenants, or by agents who might be recruiting new staff.
In a new paper, the Government says that the restricted access “is because the purpose of the database is to help local housing authorities keep track of known rogue landlords and letting agents and focus their enforcement action”.
The fact that an agent or landlord is on the database does not mean they are banned from renting out a property.
However, a letting agent or landlords could be banned for specific reasons.
These would include a Crown Court conviction for any offence involving fraud, violence, drugs or sexual assault.
Another reason for banning would be an offender has been found guilty on two or more occasions of a “relevant” housing offence, whether in a magistrates or Crown court.
A “relevant” housing offence would include illegal eviction, harassing a tenant, continuing to let to an illegal immigrant; or any offence under the Housing Act 2004.
A ban would mean an agent or landlord could not let housing; be engaged in letting agency work; or manage properties.
An agent who was banned from letting could, it seems, nevertheless still work in estate agency sales.
ARLA managing director David Cox has already made sgtrong representations in Parliament, saying that a register should be a public document and that agents banned from lettings should not be allowed to work in sales, and vice versa.
The paper also discusses augmenting the current ‘fit and proper person’ regime for being granted a licence to manage an HMO.
These would include failing to carry out a Right to Rent check.
The paper, which summarises responses to a consultation launched in the summer, can be found here