Housing minister Sajid Javid plans to plug a hole in the fight against bad landlords with a national database of offenders.
The system is due to go live from April 2018 and will list banning orders against rogue landlords.
The measure will stop landlords with convictions for housing offences in one council area from letting homes in another council area.
Until now, rogue landlords renting out homes in more than one council area were able to avoid detection as councils did not swop data about offenders.
From April, if a landlord or letting agent is convicted of one of a list of offences, the council can apply to the First Tier Tribunal for a banning order, which will see the offender’s details posted to the database.
The offences attracting a ban cover:
- Unlawful evictions and violence to secure entry
- Failing to properly manage a share houses in multiple occupation, including licensing, overcrowding, health and safety issues
- Providing false or misleading information
Only councils will have access to the database, so tenants will not see if their prospective landlord has any convictions.
Improving tenant credit scores
Meanwhile, The Treasury is offering a £2 million reward to fintech entrepreneurs who can develop a system for improving credit scores for tenants.
The aim is to include rent payment information on credit profiles to ease applying for mortgage applications for renters.
Economic Secretary to the Treasury Stephen Barclay said: “People’s monthly rent is often their biggest expense, so it makes sense for it to be recognised when applying for a mortgage. Without a good credit score, getting a mortgage can be a real struggle.
“Most lenders and credit reference agencies are unable to take rental data into account, because they don’t have access to it. The Rent Recognition Challenge will challenge firms to develop an innovative solution to this problem and help to restore the dream of home ownership for a new generation.”