Landlords convicted of a range of housing, immigration and other criminal offences such as leasing overcrowded properties, fire and gas safety offences and unlawful eviction, will be put on the new database.
Those convicted of offences under the government’s new law may also be given banning orders preventing them from leasing accommodation for a period of time, ranging from 12 months to life. Councils must record details of any landlord or property agent who has received a banning order on the database.
This will enable councils to share information between themselves and keep a closer eye on those with a poor track record, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) said.
Prison and fines
Landlords that ignore a banning order will face criminal sanctions including up to six months imprisonment and an unlimited fine.
Civil penalties of up to £30,000 as an alternative to prosecution came into force in April 2017, as did extension of Rent Repayment Orders to cover illegal eviction and/or failure to comply with a statutory notice.
Rent Repayment Orders will also cover breach of a banning order from today.
Support more laws
The government added that it would be supporting further measures proposed by Karen Buck MP in a Private Member’s Bill to protect tenants in both the social and private rented sectors.
Minister for housing and homelessness Heather Wheeler said: “I am committed to making sure people who are renting are living in safe and good quality properties.
“That’s why we’re cracking down on the small minority of landlords that are renting out unsafe and substandard accommodation.
“Landlords should be in no doubt that they must provide decent homes or face the consequences,” she added.