London mayor Sadiq Khan has announced the launch of an online blacklist of landlords and agents who have committed housing offences.
The new database is intended to empower private tenants in the capital to be able to make more informed choices about where they live, and expose bad landlords in order to drive up the quality of services available.
Although it is the first official website of its kind, it is not the only platform where tenants can access details of landlords with a view to gaining insight into their quality. Earlier this year saw the launch of Marks Out Of Tenancy, a website that lets tenants give agents and landlords marks out of 10, which is open to the public.
The new blacklisting site, called Rogue Landlord and Agent Checker, lists landlords and agents who have been prosecuted and faced enforcement action for offences related to housing, and can be found on the London Assembly website. It only covers certain parts of London at present, but a national blacklist is expected to be released to the public in April 2018.
There’s nowhere to hide
Mayor Khan said: “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.
“Boroughs on the database and I are using our existing powers to help London’s renters – but to go much further we need investment and resources from central government.
“For a start they should stop dragging their feet on the creation of the compulsory national database they promised to set up. Before ministers have even laid the regulations for their database, we’ve planned, built and launched ours – and unlike the government’s plans, we have made our database accessible to the public.”
The public database will normally retain records for 12 months, while the private database – available to local authorities and fire services – will show information for up to 10 years. There is also a tool on the website for people to report any unrecorded rogue activity for investigation.