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Rogues' database and banning orders to come into effect in April

A database of rogue letting agents and landlords and new banning orders, first promised in the Housing and Planning Act announced almost exactly a year ago, are to come into effect from early April 2018.

Legislation is to be introduced in the New Year which should be enacted in time to become law on April 6.

A year ago it was stated that if a landlord or agent was subject to a banning order they could be prevented from letting or managing a property indefinitely. A minimum ban would last 12 months.

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. 

At the end of last week the Department of Communities and Local Government has released details of what offences need to be executed by agents or landlords to make them possible candidates for inclusion on the register.

These include:

- illegally evicting or harassing a residential occupier in contravention of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977;

- using violence to secure entry under the Criminal Law Act 1977;

- failure 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 licensing of houses under Part 3 of Housing Act 2004 (section 95);

- contravention of an overcrowding notice;

- failure to comply with management regulations in respect of HMOs;

- providing false or misleading information.

Contravention of a number of specific health and safety, immigration and criminal laws may also make the agent or landlord eligible for inclusion on the register.

Currently, only local authorities are proposed to have access to the rogue landlord register; whether that remains the case when the legislated is debated and passed remains to be seen. 

Where someone has been convicted of a banning order offence, the local authority can apply to a first-tier tribunal for an order banning that landlord or property agent from being involved in the letting and/or management of property.

The definition of a banning order offence will not be retrospective and will only relate to offences that are committed after the regulations have come into force.

You can read the full details of the proposed legislation here.

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