There has been big news for landlords this month. On April Fool’s day, 1stApril 2018, the government announced it will be introducing Agency licencing.
All agents or organisations will have to have at least one qualified person in the organisation.
On top of that it has also stated the following, will introduce banning orders on rogue landlords and letting agents. Local authorities in England can apply to the First-tier Tribunal to issue a banning order against the landlord or agent.
The Housing and Planning Act 2016 (Banning Order Offences) Regulations 2018 will result in landlords and agents who are convicted of a banning order offence from being prohibited from working in the lettings industry. Whether it be as a landlord, a letting agent or working as part of a property management team.
The new database of criminal landlords and lettings agents will be created under the Act and will go live on the 6thApril 2018
Some of the most common banning order offences are:
- Illegally evicting or harassing a residential occupier
- Using violence to secure entry
- Providing false or misleading information
- Failing to comply with an improvement notice
- Failure to comply with a prohibition order
- Offences in relation to licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation
- Offences in relation to selective licensing under Part 3 of the Housing Act 2004 (section 95)
- Violence for securing entry
- Offences related to drugs
- Contravention of an overcrowding notice
- Fire and gas safety offences
- Harassment and stalking
The effect of the order could be disastrous as a rogue landlord would effectively lose their business. A landlord or agent would be forbidden from renting or managing any rented property although the order may permit them to do such work whilst closing the business down.
A banning order will be for at least 12 months but there is a possibility that it could be for longer. Banned landlords will also be forbidden from transferring their property to a business where they have an interest or a close colleague.
If convicted of a banning order offence the agent or landlord will be placed on a national database of rogues which will used to make it easy for councils to share data across the country and ensure that the rogue landlord or agent cannot move to another area and continue operating. Offending landlords will remain on the database for a minimum of 2 years.
As it is anticipated to be later during 2019 when the licencing comes into force more on that later.
Until next time, thank you for reading.