In a move that is long overdue - and still not set in stone - tenants could get access to the Rogue Landlords Database, which is basically a list of shitty landlords you'll want to avoid.
The database was only created last year, for some reason, and currently contains a whopping 10 names. It's only accessible to local authorities right now, but a recent proposal could see it open up to prospective tenants who might like to know if the person they're renting off has a crappy track record.
"This database has the potential to ensure that poor quality homes across the country are improved and the worst landlords are banned, and it is right that we unlock this crucial information for new and prospective tenants," said James Brokenshire, communities secretary.
"Landlords should be in no doubt that they must provide decent homes or face the consequences." Seems more than reasonable.
Over a 12-week consultation period, it'll be considered as to whether more housing-related offences should be added to the list - and therefore catch more grotty landlords attempting to take the piss - like breaching the Tenant Fees Act, for example, which got an update last month.
Dan Wilson Craw, director of Generation Rent, that campaigns on behalf of private tenant homes has called the move "fair", saying, "renters have to provide references from employers and previous landlords before a landlord hands over the keys to a new flat. So it is only fair that renters get the opportunity to check that a prospective landlord doesn't have a criminal record.
"This plan is another victory for renters, though we need much more effective enforcement to identify all landlords who have been breaking the law."
Despite not being pushed through just yet, opening up the list to tenants seems like an obvious decision that should have been done as soon as it was made accessible to local authorities. [BBC News]
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