The Residential Landlords Association has broken ranks with the Association of Residential Letting Agents by opposing an ARLA-backed public database of rogue agents and landlords.
The database has been proposed by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, and is backed by a number of groups including the National Landlords Association as well as ARLA plus housing campaigning organisations such as Generation Rent and Shelter.
However, the RLA claims the database will do little to root out rogue operators.
It claims that in 2015/16 just 411 landlords were prosecuted by councils in London, of which 70 per cent were in one borough, Newham, which has provided more funding than any other council for proper enforcement action.
The RLA says that rather than duplicating a database, which the government is already establishing under the 2016 Housing and Planning Act, the Mayor should work with the next government to secure funding for proper enforcement.
“Another database is not the answer. Such lists do nothing to help find criminal landlords in the first place. After all, they are hardly likely to come forward to register to go on it” says RLA policy director David Smith.