Banning Order Offences
On 6 April 2018, the Government introduced banning orders on rogue landlords and letting agents, barring those who commit certain housing offences from working in the lettings industry whilst placing their details in a database of rogue landlords.
The Housing and Planning Act 2016 (Banning Order Offences) Regulations 2018 will result in landlords and agents who are convicted of a banning order offence being prohibited from working in the lettings market. Whether it be as a landlord, a letting agent or working as part of a property management team.
The new database of criminal landlords and lettings agents has been created under the regulations and went live on 6 April 2018.
Some of the most common banning order offences are:
· Illegally evicting or harassing a residential occupier in contravention of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977
· using violence to secure entry under the Criminal Law Act 1977
· providing false or misleading information
· failing to comply with an improvement notice
· failure to comply with a prohibition order
· offences in relation to licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation
· offences in relation to selective licensing under Part 3 of the Housing Act 2004 (section 95)
· offences related to drugs
· contravention of an overcrowding notice
· harassment and stalking
The effect of the order could be disastrous as a landlord would effectively lose their business. A landlord or agent would be forbidden from renting or managing rented property although the order may permit them to do such work whilst they are closing the business down.
A banning order is for at least 12 months but there is a possibility that it could be for longer, right up to a ban for life. Banned landlords will also be forbidden from transferring their property to a business where they have an interest or a close colleague has an interest.
The provision of housing is critical and an essential service provided to the consumer. With more and more legislation coming into force within the lettings industry, from right to rent checks to taxation changes, it is becoming increasingly more complex for landlords to manage their own property. A study conducted by the National Landlords Association (NLA) found there was a 7% increase in the number of landlords using a letting agent from the end of 2016 to June 2017. Annually the proportion of landlords who self-manage their properties has reduced by almost 10%.