A trade body has backed government plans to introduce so-called ‘banning orders’ for rogue letting agents and landlords, but it says the new rules must be applied appropriately.
In its submission to the formal government consultation on the proposals, the Residential Landlords’ Association says councils must commit to have resources and enthusiasm to enforce the new rules.
The RLA is also asking that those landlords who find themselves subject to an order or included on the ‘rogue’ landlord database through a mistake that was unintentional, should have a formal route to be released from an order and from being listed on the database where appropriate.
It also wants believe provisions for landlords who demonstrate remorse and undertake appropriate education or training.
The RLA is also worried that genuinely well-intentioned landlords who simply miss or misinterpret one specific piece of legislation should not necessarily receive a banning order.
The association proposes that banned landlords have their properties made subject to selective licensing under the Housing Act 2004 with a presumption that the banned landlord cannot be a licence holder.
“This would work as an alternative to local authority management orders that are already very rarely taken up by local authorities due to limits on time and resources” says the RLA.
“We hope that the process of banning orders and the ‘rogue’ database will be used in the spirit it is intended to root out criminal landlords operating in the private rental sector. It is important that local authorities retain the confidence of the majority of compliant landlords by using the civil penalty regime sensibly” the organisation concludes.