Eviction specialist company Landlord Action wants the government to complement its action against rogue letting agents and tenants with a ‘rogue tenants blacklist.’
The Housing and Planning Bill, which returns to the House of Commons today for debate, wants banning orders and civil penalties of up for £5,000 for rogue agents and landlords, speeding up repossessions of abandoned properties and producing a rogue landlord and letting agent blacklist.
It is currently suggested the blacklist of rogue landlords and agents would be available to local authorities and central government, enabling them to keep track of those who had committed offences.
Landlord Action founder Paul Shamplina now wants government to show greater equality and more openness. He argues that if there is going to be a list of rogue landlords and letting agents then it should also include agents that have multiple money judgements against them by landlords for non-payment of rent.
Shamplina believes that all associations and redress schemes within the PRS should also put their banned members on this list. He thinks that the list should include rogue tenants and, most importantly, all the information should be made public.
“Last year there were 161,000 possession claims issued in England and Wales. At present, there is no central database where possession orders with money claims are registered, as the courts do not recognise possession claims with arrears as a County Court Judgement” he says.
“At present, a rogue tenant can move from property to property running up rent arrears and it does not show up on referencing unless the landlord goes to additional expense of trying to enforce the money order. If we are to protect landlords at pre-let stage, in the same way we wish to protect tenants, this should also be made available.”
Some 92 per cent of respondents to a government survey are in agreement that there should be a blacklist of persistent rogue landlords and letting agents. Shamplina says making the information available to the wider public would support those reputable landlords and agents and act as an effective deterrent.