Rogue landlords face naming and shaming on public database

Rogue landlords should have their details included on a database on Brighton and Hove City Council’s website, according to a Labour councillor.

Gill Williams, who used to chair the council’s Housing Committee, also wants “a zero tolerance approach to rogue landlords”.

Councillor Williams plans to seek support for the proposed database next week when the committee is due to meet at Hove Town Hall.

She intends to propose a motion that “this Housing Committee declares an intention to adopt a zero tolerance approach to rogue landlords”.

The motion would also propose “that a database of rogue landlords where action has been successfully taken should be made available on Brighton and Hove City Council website”.

Councillor Williams said: “It is recognised that the majority of private sector landlords in the city make a positive contribution to housing in our city and this is valued.

“However, a recent report revealed that almost half of private renters in the south east were victims of illegal acts by landlords.

“We have provided much-needed extra funding for the PRS (private rented sector) enforcement team and have recruited more staff to tackle this problem in our city.

“We are now in a position to do more to deter rogue landlord activity.

“The NRLA (National Residential Landlords Association) chief executive states that rogue and criminal landlords put tenants at risk and undermines the reputation of decent landlords.

“It is essential that Brighton and Hove sends out a strong message that rogue landlords will not be tolerated in our city.

“Many councils across the country have adopted a zero tolerance approach to rogue and criminal landlords. It is high time we do the same.”

Councillor Gill Williams

The NRLA published a report in August called A New Deal for the Private Rented Sector urging the government to provide proper financial support for councils to tackle rogue landlords.

The report said: “By the time the forthcoming Building Safety Bill is given royal assent, the number of statutory provisions applying to the sector will have risen by 40 per cent over the last decade to 168 pieces of legislation.

“We contend therefore that it cannot feasibly be argued that the sector is ‘under-regulated’.

“Rather the problem is a failure by local authorities to properly enforce, using the wide range of powers already available.

“One example of the failure to use the tools available relates to the database of rogue landlords and banning orders, introduced in 2018.

“In November 2015, the then … minister, Marcus Jones, told the Housing and Planning Bill Committee that ‘about 10,500 rogue landlords may be operating’.

“In January 2018 the then … minister, Jake Berry, said that the government’s estimate was that ‘about 600 banning orders per year will be made’.

“Despite these estimates, in May this year the … minister, Lord Greenhalgh, told the House of Lords that there were currently just 43 entries on the rogue landlord database.

“In April, the Housing Minister, Christopher Pincher, also said that just seven landlords had been issued with a banning order.”

A rogue landlord has been defined as someone who lets substandard or unsafe property or tries to avoid other legal requirements such as carrying out repairs or using a deposit protection service.

The council’s Housing Committee is due to meet at 4pm next Wednesday (17 November). The meeting is scheduled to be webcast on the council’s website.

  1. John French Reply

    What determines a rogue landlord!
    I would suggest the council could be termed a rogue landlord when some of its tenants are waiting for faults with their accommodation to be repaired.
    I’m suggesting you would be opening a can of worms with claims against yourselves.
    It may sound a great idea, but in practice not really workable.

  2. Rachel Davies Reply

    Let’s also get a database of rogue tenants. Publicising this will bring down the rental costs of decent tenants.

  3. Bradly Reply

    Indeed, the council itself is on the way to be a rogue

  4. Nige Reply

    The ‘half of pivate tenants have faced illegal action by landlords’ line is incredibly misleading. This ‘statisic’ comes from militant group sorry housing charity Shelter. Their sample was taken from 3,500 tenants who had repsonded to their survey. Hardly represntative of the entire market.

    • Some Guy Reply

      I don’t think I know a single adult who has had a smooth ride with renting in this city. Between predatory deposit behaviour and poor attitudes to essential repairs, I think a 50% statistic is probably too low.

  5. Chris Reply

    How about a register of rogue tenants, the ones who cause problems for other residents as well as their landlords. It’s not one-sided with the landlord always being the scoundrel.

  6. Hovelassies Reply

    How about naming and shaming a rogue council. BHCC continues to charge landlords huge fees for HMO licenses but refuses to do the inspections and issue new HMO licenses. This is forcing many landlords to operate with expired licenses which is illegal. Inspectors won’t enter a property unless is has been empty for 3 days because of “COVID”. Absolutely not one iota of evidence to support this position. Another case of the council taking the money and failing to deliver. Criminal.

  7. Hovelassies Reply

    Naming and shaming should start with BHCC. The council has a long, dark history of spending eye watering amounts of taxpayers’ money on very substandard, badly managed temporary accommodation hostels – results of troublingly cosy relationships between council officers and some unscrupulous private landlords. Never held to account and never honest and transparent about what really goes on. A big cover-up.

  8. Chris Reply

    IF
    you occupy an HMO (5+ persons or 3+ persons in some areas)
    AND
    it is unlicensed (you can check on BHCC website here https://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/planning/planning-applications/map-hmos-brighton-hove & email council to confirm)
    THEN
    you (the tenant/licencee/property guardian) can make a ‘Rent Repayment Order’ against the landlord for up to 12 months rent back! You can assert your rights in this action yourself, personally (you do not need council or lawyer).

    See:
    https://england.shelter.org.uk/professional_resources/legal/housing_conditions/private_sector_enforcement/rent_repayment_orders
    &
    https://www.getrentback.org/

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