Once again, the much-heralded Database of Rogue Agents & Landlords has proved to be inefficient.
Introduced in April 2018, it was intended that any landlord or property agent who received a banning order would be added to the database. The principal problem is that the whole system relies on local authorities to maintain the database, and they don’t have enough resource to do this.
The outcome is that figures from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) show just 56 private landlords have been blacklisted. Only 99 offences – an average of just 25 a year – have been recorded and just 23 local authorities (there are 333 in total) have submitted entries to register rogue landlords and property agents.
In a way, it is immaterial how many are on it, as only local authorities can view it, meaning any request to check on a particular agent or landlord has to go through them, adding even more to their work.
In an interview with the Negotiator magazine, Timothy Douglas, Propertymark’s head of policy and campaigns, commented that the database was designed to target the most serious offenders.
He says: “There’s no doubt local authorities are under-resourced which will lead to a lack of inspections and so enforcement.
“We are keen for the database to be made available publicly. The threat of name and shame alone will raise standards. Plus, agents would also be able to vet future employees. There should not be allowed a situation whereby you are on the list in the morning and a sales agent in the afternoon.”