2.4 million renters can now check their prospective landlord and agent
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has hailed a major milestone in his efforts to ‘name and shame’ the capital’s unscrupulous landlords and letting agents with all 33 London local authorities signing up to his online database.
Among the entries now included on the Mayor’s Rogue Landlords and Letting Agents Checker is a high street estate agent chain which was fined a record £35,000 following a prosecution brought by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets after it failed to provide the council with the correct documentation – including gas and fire safety – for a rental property in Whitechapel.
Working voluntarily in partnership with the Mayor, the 32 boroughs and the City of London have committed to submitting records of successful prosecutions and fines to the Checker, a free online tool which allows Londoners to check if the landlord or letting agent of a rental property has been convicted of any housing offences.
Ten boroughs have already submitted their records, and the remaining boroughs’ records will now be uploaded to the database. In addition, the Checker has a simple ‘report a rogue’ tool, giving renters a central portal to make a complaint about a landlord or agent for the first time.
The Mayor believes the database, published on the City Hall website, will give Londoners greater confidence in renting a home, as well as acting as a clear deterrent to the small minority of landlords and letting agents who behave dishonestly.
Among the records already available is a case involving a residential landlord which was fined a record £150,000 after being prosecuted by London Fire Brigade in May 2017, following a major fire at a block of flats it owned in Westminster in 2011. The fire was so serious 13 people had to be evacuated and the subsequent investigation found a string of fire safety breaches.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “When I launched the Checker I made it clear unscrupulous landlords and agents would have nowhere to hide. Now, with all local authorities signed up, we have reached an important milestone in protecting London’s renters.
“The rental market in the capital is difficult enough to navigate without a small minority of rogue operators exploiting their tenants. This tool will empower Londoners to make an informed choice about where to live.
“I’m extremely grateful for the support of all the local authorities and other bodies which have signed up to contribute their records to the database. I’m confident this will be a major step in tackling unscrupulous and illegal practices in the rented sector.
London Fire Brigade’s Assistant Commissioner for Fire Safety, Dan Daly, said: “We welcomed the rogue landlord checker when it was launched and it’s great news that all London boroughs have now pledged to submit their records to the database.
“Now that all boroughs have signed up, it means every Londoner who rents, wherever they live, will be able to find landlords and letting agents who have been successfully prosecuted or faced civil enforcement for housing offences, including those prosecuted by us for fire safety breaches.
“It should also act as a deterrent for the small number of dishonest landlords who pose a large risk to their tenants.”