Owen White & Catlin

Find your nearest office Arrow

Government to ban rogue landlords and property agents

The government is to use banning orders to crack down on rogue landlords and property agents.

The orders will be used in cases involving serious offences against tenants. Ministers say such offences could include failing to carry out work required by the council to prevent a health and safety risk to tenants, threatening tenants with violence, or illegally evicting them.

If a landlord or property agent is subject to a banning order they could be prevented from letting or managing a property indefinitely. Their name would also be included in a national database of rogue landlords and property agents.

Proposed banning order offences include:

  • illegally evicting a tenant
  • renting out a property considered to be unsafe as a dwelling by local authorities
  • failing to carry out works required by local authorities to prevent health and safety risk to tenants
  • renting out a property to an illegal migrant
  • using violence, or threatening violence against a tenant
  • making fraudulent applications for housing benefit, or committing identity theft
  • using the property to cultivate cannabis
  • theft or criminal damage
  • colluding with the tenant to commit a criminal offence, such as tax evasion or the supply of illegal drugs.

Housing Minister Gavin Barwell said: “The banning orders will force the most serious and prolific offenders to either drastically improve the standard of the accommodation they rent out, or to leave the sector entirely, with a minimum ban lasting 12 months and no upper limit for a maximum ban.

“Those subject to banning orders will also not be able to earn income from renting out housing or engaging in letting agency or property management work.

“Landlords could also find that their property could be made the subject of a management order by the local authority, which allows the council to rent out the property instead.”

The proposals are now subject to a public consultation. We shall keep clients informed of developments.

Please contact us if you would like more information about commercial property law or landlord and tenant issues.