This week marks a major milestone in Mayor of London Sadiq Khan's efforts to crack down on the capital's rogue letting agents and landlords.
City Hall has announced that all London boroughs have now signed up to the 'Rogue Landlord and Agent Checker'
The online database - which is published on the City Hall website - has been operating since December but originally only had the support of 10 boroughs.
Those boroughs have already submitted their records and now the remaining 23 London boroughs' records will be uploaded to the database.
As well as allowing renters to check if prospective landlords or letting agents have been convicted of any housing offences, the checker now boasts a 'report a rogue' tool which allows consumers to make a complaint about a landlord or agent for the first time.
Among the entries to be included on the database is the £35,000 fine handed to Foxtons by Tower Hamlets Council after the agent failed to provide the authority with the correct safety documentation for a rental property in Whitechapel.
Foxtons appealed the fine but it was recently rejected with the council awarded costs, as we reported yesterday.
Also included is a case involving a residential landlord fined a record £150,000 after being prosecuted by the London Fire Brigade in May 2017, following a major fire at a block of flats in Westminster in 2011.
“When I launched the Checker I made it clear unscrupulous landlords and agents would have nowhere to hide. Now, with all local authorities signed up, we have reached an important milestone in protecting London’s renters," said Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London.
“The rental market in the capital is difficult enough to navigate without a small minority of rogue operators exploiting their tenants. This tool will empower Londoners to make an informed choice about where to live."
Director of campaign group Generation Rent, Dan Wilson Craw, added: “Landlords and agents already require references from renters before starting a tenancy, so it’s only right and fair that renters have a chance to vet their prospective landlords and agents."
"This resource should be should be rolled out nationally to help drive up standards in the private rented sector across the country.”
The government finally launched a similar initiative - the National Rogue Landlord Database - in April, but it has long been criticised for only being accessible to local authorities and not available to the general public.