How to Find Out If Your Landlord is a Criminal

If you've ever rented from a nightmare landlord, help is finally at hand...


by Sophie Jackson |
Published on

The UK government has set up a ‘rogue landlord’ database to help renters protect themselves. The database will include landlords who’ve been convicting of offences such as unlawful eviction of tenants, overcrowding in their properties, and failing to meet fire and gas safety standards. Local councils will be expected to keep this database regularly updated, with the hope that sharing this information publicly will weed out repeat offenders in the private renting sector.

Anyone who has lived in a rented home will know how important it is to have a good landlord. You may not see them often but it is up to your landlord how much rent you pay, how quickly necessary home repairs get done, sometimes who your utilities providers are. Landlords have access to your home, so you have to trust that they will be respectful and act within the law.

Many renters don’t know how to assess what makes a good landlord when they meet one, and are even more clueless about who to turn to if something does go wrong. To combat this, Shelter has published guidance on how to report if your landlord has broken the law.

4.7 million homesin England are privately rented, so wading into the murky waters of housing standards and landlord behaviour is a big task for local councils. The government has recently given councils the power to dish out fines of up to £30,000 for overcrowding offences, which are considered to be one of the most dangerous issues in the private renting sector.

Landlords who are convicted of any major housing offence might also face bans that prevent them from renting out properties. The minimum ban is 12 months and the most serious offenders could face a ban for life. If a landlord has been banned for any reason or length of time, a warning about the ban will also appear on the database.

If you have any concerns about your current landlord or want to check out a prospective one, you can look them up on the database now. You can also find out how to use the database on the UK government website.

Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophlynne

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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