The Government still does not seem to have a set date for the introduction of a list of rogue landlords and lettings agents despite its launch expected to have been in October.
The creation of a database of rogue landlords and lettings agents for local authorities was first touted in a consultation in December 2016 and confirmed in the Housing and Planning Act 2016. But almost a year later, nothing has actually been introduced.
An ARLA Propertymark factsheet on the database suggested in April that it would be introduced in October, while housing minister Alok Sharma told MPs in September that the database would be introduced shortly.
A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) fed EYE a similar line, stating: “Everyone is entitled to have a safe and decent place to live. The latest figures show more than four out of five households living in private rented homes are satisfied, but there is more to do.
“A database of rogue landlords is expected to be introduced in due course.
“Councils already have strong powers to make sure landlords make improvements to inadequate properties and we expect them to use them.
“This Government is also cracking down on rogue landlords, either forcing them to improve and raise their standards or to leave the sector entirely.”
There was no comment on why it was delayed or when it will actually be introduced.
Traditionally new regulations come out either in April or October.
The proposed ‘blacklist’ has already come under considerable fire, as it will only be available to local and central government – and not to the public, and nor to agents who are recruiting and might want to check out candidates.
Robert Bolwell, senior partner and head of landlord and tenant law at Dutton Gregory Solicitors, told EYE: “The industry is hoping it will be April 2018 or the sooner the better.
“Like many lawyers I am disappointed that enforcement has not played a key role in directives coming from DCLG. Hopefully, with the new consultation on regulation of the sector and the new civil penalty regime, things will change in the very near future.”