London register to sort good landlords and agents from bad
There is nothing worse for letting agents and landlords who carry out their business diligently, honestly and fairly than those whose rogue actions damage the reputation of the rental sector, but a new register in London will ensure the distinction between the good and the bad is made clear.
The Rogue Landlord and Agent Checker is being set up to identify landlords and agents in the capital who have failed to comply with housing law. It is the first of its kind in the UK, but it may provide a template for other cities and counties to follow.
Any landlord or letting agent who has either been successfully prosecuted or faced civil enforcement action will be added, which means landlords and agents who are not listed will be able to use the fact to show they are carrying out their affairs in the right way.
The register will be published on the City Hall website and London's mayor Sadiq Khan said it will give greater confidence to those renting a home in the capital.
He remarked: "Many landlords and agents across London offer a great service but sadly some don’t. My new database is about empowering Londoners to make informed choices about where they rent, and sending rogue operators a clear message: you have nowhere to hide."
So far, records from Brent, Camden, Greenwich, Islington, Kingston, Newham, Southwark, Sutton, Waltham Forest and Westminster have been added to the register, and details from Barking and Dagenham, Croydon, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Lewisham, Redbridge and Tower Hamlets will be added in the next few weeks. Mr Khan hopes the other 15 London boroughs will subsequently add their data.
The London Fire Brigade has also provided information, reflecting cases of fire safety breaches.
A recent survey by Simple Landlords Insurance highlighted how well good landlords treat their tenants.
Examples of this included 43 per cent being willing to give extra help to vulnerable renters in difficulty, such as those claiming housing allowance, while a quarter buy their tenants Christmas presents.
The findings prompted head of operations at Simple Landlords Insurance Alex Huntley to declare it is time to "ditch the image of the heartless landlord".