An official blacklist of bad landlords and letting agents will be introduced by the government from October 1.
The database will cover property people who are convicted of housing offences in England.
These are mainly aimed at landlords with houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) who are found guilty of running a home without a licence and safety offences.
The scope of the database may be widened to include letting agents who charge fees to tenants once a ban comes into force – no date has yet been suggested for this.
The timetable for the blacklist was revealed by Under Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government Lord Bourne in response to a written question in the Lords from Baroness Grender, who asked whether letting agents would be blacklisted for charging fees.
She is sponsoring the Renters Rights Bill that proposed the letting agent fee ban before the details were announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond in his Autumn Statement 2016.
Bourne told her that the government is still considering which offences to criminalise for recording on the black list.
Lord Bourne wrote:
“While most letting and managing agents provide a good service, a minority of agents offer a poor service and engage in unacceptable practices.
“The government is keen to see tenants receiving a good service from their landlord and letting agent, and that is why we announced in the Autumn Statement a ban on letting agent fees paid by tenants in England. This will support better competition in the market and bring down overall costs.”
“Tenants will be better able to search around for properties that suit their budget and there will be no hidden costs. This may be preferable to tenants being hit with upfront charges that can be difficult for them to afford.”
He added a consultation would start within a few weeks over which offences would be included on the database blacklist.