To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to (a) promote responsible letting and (b) deal with rogue landlords.
4 April 2017
The Government is committed to building a strong private rented sector, which provides security and stability for both tenants and landlords.
To promote responsible lettings, we have issued ‘How to Rent’ guidance on gov.uk and made it a legal requirement, since 1 October 2014, for letting and managing agents in England to belong to one of the three Government approved redress schemes, which offer a clear route for landlords and tenants to pursue complaints. The Government announced at Autumn Statement 2016 a ban on letting agent fees paid by tenants, to improve competition in the private rental market and give renters greater clarity and control over what they will pay. And most recently, the Government announced on 28 March that we will make Client Money Protection mandatory for letting and managing agents that handle client money; this will ensure that every agent is giving tenants and landlords the financial protection that they deserve.
The Government is committed to taking action to tackle rogue landlords and agents; the Housing & Planning Act 2016 introduced further powers to help crack down on rogue landlords, including a database of rogue landlords and property agents, banning orders for the most serious and prolific offenders, civil penalties of up to £30,000 and extended rent repayment orders.