Generation Rent, the lobby group which recently narrowly escaped folding because of a lack of financial support, wants the public to be allowed to see the new proposed blacklists of rogue letting agents and landlords.
The Housing and Planning Bill now going through Parliament includes provisions for the creation of a database of so-called rogue landlords and letting agents, with the offer of government assistance to “help councils to focus their enforcement action”, plus the creation of banning orders for serial agent and landlord offenders.
Now Generation Rent wants the blacklist idea to be taken further.
A statement on the group’s website says: “The public should have access to the blacklist so that, at the very least, they can check if a prospective landlord has been convicted of anything. And it should be made easier for tenants whose landlord has been convicted to claim back rent under the expanded Rent Repayment Orders.”
The group backs many of the proposals in the Bill and says councils “will get to keep more of the fines they dish out, so will have a reason to invest in enforcing laws on decent conditions. They will also start sharing intelligence about landlords, with a national blacklist of convicted landlords and agents, and the opening up of tenancy deposit schemes' databases so local authorities can check who is operating in their area and target resources appropriately.”
Earlier this year Generation Rent - which launched in early 2014 - claimed it required £60,000 to stay afloat but despite a failed crowdfunding campaign and the loss of grants from the Nationwide Foundation, set up by the Nationwide mortgage firm, the group is still in business.