Khan warns rogue landlords they have ‘nowhere to hide’

The mayor’s new Rogue Landlord and Agent Checker will ‘name and shame’ unscrupulous landlords.

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Sadiq Khan has launched an online database for renters in the capital – the Rogue Landlord and Agent Checker.

Renters will have access to details showing which landlords and lettings agents have been successfully prosecuted or have faced civil enforcement action for housing offences.

Records from 10 London boroughs (Brent, Camden, Greenwich, Islington, Kingston, Newham, Southwark, Sutton, Waltham Forest, Westminster) and the London Fire Brigade have been published on the database, with a further eight boroughs (Barking and Dagenham, Croydon, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Lewisham, Redbridge and Tower Hamlets) agreeing to submit records in the coming weeks.

As well as records on prosecutions and enforcement action, the database will offer tenants a tool for the easy reporting of landlords they suspect of unscrupulous practices.

It will also contain records from the three national organisations offering a free and independent service for resolving disputes with their landlords.

Khan said: “The housing market in London is difficult enough for Londoners to navigate, without those landlords and letting agents who behave unscrupulously leaving tenants living in appalling conditions, despite often paying sky-high rents. I promised to do everything within my powers to help Londoners facing this problem – I will not stand by while they are exploited.

“Many landlords and agents across London offer a great service – but sadly some don’t. My new database is about empowering Londoners to make informed choices about where they rent, and sending rogue operators a clear message: you have nowhere to hide.”

London Fire Brigade’s assistant commissioner for Fire Safety, Dan Daly, said: “From overcrowded housing to poor escape routes and badly maintained fire doors, our fire inspectors regularly find homes that are just too dangerous to live in.

“Making it easier for tenants to find out if a potential landlord has flouted fire safety rules will act as a deterrent for the small number of dishonest landlords who pose a large risk to their tenants.”

Cllr Sem Moema, Hackney Council’s mayoral advisor for affordability and private renting, said: “With the number of private renters in Hackney doubling in the last ten years to over 34,000 – or one in three households – we’re determined to do all we can to create a fairer, more transparent system that prevents landlords from exploiting the increase in housing demand.”

Cllr Barrie Hargrove, Southwark Council’s cabinet member for communities and safety, said:“This new rogue landlord and agent checker will help tenants to report bad landlords and help them make informed decisions when considering a new landlord, or agent. This is another great step towards achieving a good standard of private rented housing in Southwark.”

Polly Neate, CEO of Shelter, said: “The dearth of affordable homes in London is forcing desperate people to rent from a minority of rogue landlords who repeatedly exploit their tenants, so it’s great to see the mayor’s plan to publicly name and shame these offenders put into action.

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