Website to include list of landlords and letting agents who have been successfully prosecuted
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced plans for an online database to name and shame criminal landlords in the city.
The Mayor’s Office is planning to build the database with six London boroughs – Newham, Brent, Camden, Southwark, Kingston and Sutton – to make the public aware of landlords and letting agents who have been successfully prosecuted for housing offences.
It will be made available on the mayor’s website during the autumn. It will enable private renters to check out a landlord or letting agent and is aimed in giving them more confidence in renting in the capital, and acting as a deterrent to dishonest landlords and agents.
The database should also help councils in sharing information on landlords’ criminal history and provide details of enforcement activity and investigations.
The Mayor’s Office said it hopes other boroughs will join once the site has been launched.
Khan (pictured) said: “I refuse to stand by as thousands of Londoners suffer sky high rents and horrendous living conditions in a city they call home.
“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.”
Seb Klier, London campaigns manager for campaigning group Generation Rent, said: “For renters to get a better deal in London, it’s vital that we have a London-wide approach to dealing with rogue landlords, which is why the mayor’s ‘name and shame’ database is so important.
“At the moment, renters sign a tenancy with no information about whether their landlord has a good record in the market. This new initiative will empower renters by allowing them to check if a landlord has committed a recent housing offence, and it will put the capital’s worst offenders on red alert, letting them know that if they mistreat their tenants, they will be exposed.
The move has also won the support of the National Landlords Association. Its chief executive officer, Richard Lambert, said it should reduce the stress for renters in reporting potentially criminal housing conditions to their local authority.