There has still been no formal response to a government consultation on the database of rogue agents and landlords, 25 months after comments were initially requested and 22 months after the exercise closed.
The database of rogue landlords and property agents was introduced in April 2018, targeted at agents and landlords who committed the most serious offences - typically those requiring banning orders.
The content of the database is currently an enforcement tool available almost exclusively to local authorities; the consultation exercise in 2019 was seeking views on widening access to allow tenants and prospective tenants access, and to allow letting agents to check on new landlord clients.
In a recent article related to the consultation, the UK Association of Letting Agents wrote: “The consultation proposed increasing the range of offences for which, following a conviction, a banning order could be applied. Of particular relevance to letting agents it was proposed to include a failure to publicise fees; a failure to belong to or revocation of membership of a redress scheme; failure to provide an EPC and a failure to provide smoke and carbon monoxide alarms where relevant.”
UKALA says there has been a significant increase in the number of Rent Repayment Orders made by the First-Tier Tribunal over the past few months, often as a result of failures under HMO and other property licensing, as well as HMO management failures.
Many of these Rent Repayment Orders may ultimately trigger banning orders, it suggests - making access to the database more important for agents checking landlords.
Readers can see the original consultation document and its proposals - now over two years old - here.
The MHCLG has been asked for any update on the timetable for a government response to the consultation submissions.