The department has said it will consider widening access to and expanding the scope of offences and infractions that could lead to inclusion in the database in England.
The consultation asks whether tenants should be able to access the database and under what circumstances, with the deadline for responses being 12 October.
“The aim is to provide a more comprehensive range of information to assist existing and prospective tenants in making an informed choice about who to rent from,” the consultation document said.
“The majority of landlords in the private rented sector (PRS) provide decent and well-managed accommodation, but there is a small number of rogue landlords and property agents who knowingly flout their legal obligations and rent out substandard accommodation.
“We are committed to rebalancing the relationship between tenants and landlords to deliver a fairer, more affordable and better quality PRS,” the paper added.
New offences added
The rogue landlords database went live in April 2018.
Local authorities must make an entry to the database if a landlord or property agent has received a banning order. The authority can make an entry at its discretion if the landlord or agent has been convicted of a banning order offence or received two or more civil penalties for such an offence within a year.
The consultation has proposed adding a raft of new offences, including failing to comply with a request for documents relating to a licensed property, non-compliance with a notice requiring removal of rats and mice, causing or permitting overcrowding, failure to belong to a redress scheme, failing the fit and proper person test and conviction for offences linked to modern slavery.
The existing list of offences includes use of violence to secure entry, gas safety offences, unlawful eviction and harassment, failing to comply with an improvement notice and permitting the number of occupants in a home in multiple occupancy (HMO) to be above the authorised number.
The private rented sector in England houses 4.5 million people, or 19 per cent of households.