Banning Orders and the Rogue Landlord Database
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The Housing and Planning Act 2016 created a number of new enforcement powers that local authorities can use to enforce against the small number of criminal landlords in the sector. The most common of these are the civil penalties. However for more serious cases, local authorities can use banning orders to prevent a landlord from renting out any property. If a banning order is used, this should lead to a landlord being added to the rogue landlord database.
What is a banning order?
A banning order prohibits a person from:
- renting out residential accommodation; and
- performing letting agency work; and
- performing property management work; and
- holding a HMO or selective licence. In the event the person already has a licence this must be revoked.
This prohibition must last at least 12 months and potentially much longer.
What can a banning order be issued for?
The local authority may seek a banning order where the landlord or agent has been convicted of a banning order offence under the Housing and Planning Act 2016 (Banning Order Offences) Regulations 2017:
- unlawful eviction or harassment
- using or threatening violence for securing entry into premises
- failure to comply with an improvement notice
- failure to comply with a prohibition order
- not having an additional, mandatory or HMO licence where required, or breaching a condition of a licence
- failure to comply with HMO management regulations
- failure to comply with overcrowding notices or fire safety regulations in a HMO
- breach of gas safety regulations
- requiring a 'relevant person' to make a prohibited payment under the Tenant Fees Act
- being convicted of the criminal offence of renting to someone without 'right to rent'
In addition to this there are a wide range of other criminal convictions that may lead to a banning order if the act is perpetrated against the tenant such theft, criminal damage, etc.
These offences must have been committed since 6 April 2018 for a banning order to be available.
Are these powers used often?
Not at the present time. Two years after banning orders were made available, only 21 landlords or agents in England had been issued with a banning order. This may increase as time goes on however.
What is the rogue landlord database?
The database was launched in April 2018 and provides a list of landlords and property agents who have been given a banning order, been convicted of a banning order offence when they were acting as a residential landlord or property agent or have received two or more financial penalties for a banning order offence within a period of 12 months whilst operating in the sector.
Its purpose is to support local authorities in enforcement action and prevent ‘rogues' from moving operations between local authority areas to circumvent the law. Local authorities are responsible for adding entries to the database and have a duty to include anyone who has been given a banning order.
Who can see the entrants on the rogue landlord database?
Only local authorities can see who is listed on the current rogue landlord database.
Future of the rogue landlord database
in 2019 the Government consulted on extending the rogue landlord database so that the public may view it. In addition, the consultation also asked whether it would be appropriate to include landlords and agents who have:
- been served with an improvement notice
- failed the fit and proper person test for a licence
- been served with one civil penalty instead of two
- been removed from a redress scheme
- had a licence revoked
The response to this consultation has not been published yet.
London rogue landlord database
The Mayor of London and the London Assembly have set up a Rogue landlord and agent checker that can be accessed by the general public.
It contains information about landlords and agents who have been:
- prosecuted or fined for housing-related offences by a local authority in London
- prosecuted for fire safety offences in London
- expelled by one of the agency redress schemes.