The Government will introduce powers for local authorities to ban rogue landlords and letting agents from 1st October 2017, according to the new Housing Minister, Gavin Barwell.
Under the Housing and Planning Act, which gained royal assent earlier this year, local authorities will be given powers to ban repeat offenders from the private rental sector. This will be the first time that, in law, a letting agent can be banned from the industry.
Despite lobbying and failed parliamentary attempts, successive governments have refused to reclassify letting agents so that they fall under the jurisdiction of the Estate Agents Act, which allows sales agents to be banned.
Failure to include letting agents under this law means that many have participated in criminal activity, such as stealing thousands of pounds of deposits and rent, and managed to set up another agency immediately after leaving jail.
A consultation will take place to determine which offences that could lead to the banning of rogue landlords and letting agents will be covered by the new law.
Responding to a question by the Labour MP for North Tyneside, Mary Glindon, the newly appointed Housing Minister explained when the Government plans to introduce the new powers.
He said: “The Housing and Planning Act 2016 introduced a power enabling local authorities to apply to the First-tier Tribunal for a banning order against a person or organisation who has been convicted of a banning order offence.
“Banning order offences will be specified in regulations following a public consultation and will be subject to the affirmative procedure. We are planning to introduce this power on 1st October 2017.”
Landlords and letting agents must be aware of the new powers, which could see local authorities clamping down on rogue operators in the area.
Remember to always stick to the law and obey your responsibilities as a landlord. It is a landlord’s duty to protect their tenants and provide good quality, safe housing for the private rental sector.
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