Sadiq Khan also hits out at central government’s lack of action
Credit: Matt Crossick/Empics Entertainment
London mayor Sadiq Khan has launched what he claims is the UK’s first online database of rogue landlords and lettings agents.
The tool, which is part of City Hall’s website, will provide names and rental property addresses for landlords and agents with criminal convictions or civil enforcement actions related to housing offences. The site will also offer members of the public the chance to submit reports on landlords who they believe have engaged in “unscrupulous practices”.
The database will also house records from three bodies that mediate disputes between tenants and landlords: the Property Ombudsman; the Property Redress Scheme; and Ombudsman Services.
In addition to these publicly available services, the site will also host a private database through which local authorities and the London Fire Brigade can share more detailed information regarding offences committed by landlords and agents.
The site has launched with records from 10 of London’s 32 boroughs: Brent; Camden; Islington; Kingston upon Thames; Newham; Southwark; Sutton; Waltham Forest; and Westminster. Data has also been supplied by the fire brigade.
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A further eight authorities – Barking and Dagenham, Croydon, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Lewisham, Redbridge, and Tower Hamlets – plan to add their records to the database “in the coming weeks”. Although the remaining 14 boroughs cannot be compelled to submit data, the mayor has reportedly “been working in close partnership with all boroughs to develop this new database on a London-wide basis”.
Khan (pictured above) called for Westminster to follow his lead.
“Boroughs on the database and I are using our existing powers to help London’s renters – but to go much further we need investment and resources from central government,” he said. “For a start, they should stop dragging their feet on the creation of the compulsory national database they promised to set up. Before ministers have even laid the regulations for their database, we’ve planned, built and launched ours – and unlike the government’s plans, we have made our database accessible to the public.”