Mayor of London targets rogue landlords
27 April 2017
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced the launch of a new online database that will name and shame criminal landlords and letting agents.
The new database, to be built in partnership with London Boroughs and published on the Mayor’s website, will cite criminal landlords and letting agents who have been successfully prosecuted for housing offences. The Mayor has not revealed if this will include fire safety offences.
Due to launch in the autumn, the database will enable councils London-wide easily to share information on landlords’ criminal history and provide details of enforcement activity and investigations. As part of this new initiative, Londoners will be able to search the online database and report suspected criminal landlords or letting agents through London.gov.uk.
The database will be developed in the coming months with information from six councils – Newham, Brent, Camden, Southwark, Kingston and Sutton – with other boroughs across London set to join following its public launch in the autumn.
The Mayor made the announcement as he joined a criminal landlord enforcement raid in Newham, carried out under the council’s borough-wide licensing scheme for private rented properties. In 2013, Newham Council was the first local authority to be granted borough-wide licensing and has been very successful in tackling criminal landlords, prosecuting 1,100 criminal landlords – more than any other local authority in London - and banning 28 of the very worst from operating. The council’s five-year licensing scheme is due to expire in December, and Mr Khan has written to the government to support its renewal.
The Mayor of London said: “Today I have seen first-hand the abysmal conditions that some of London’s private renters are forced to endure as a result of rogue landlords. I want to be clear that the vast majority of landlords treat renters well – but a minority are exploiting their tenants and it’s simply unacceptable. This must stop now.
“To help renters, I will be working in partnership with London Boroughs to launch my new ‘name and shame’ database of criminal landlords and letting agents to help Londoners before they rent a property, and to deter dishonest landlords and agents from operating.
“I fully support the excellent work councils like Newham are doing to target the worst offenders in their borough. I will continue to support them and other boroughs who use licensing schemes effectively to drive up standards in the private rented sector.”