Committee (1st Day)

Part of Housing and Planning Bill – in the House of Lords at 5:00 pm on 9th February 2016.

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Photo of Baroness Redfern Baroness Redfern Conservative 5:00 pm, 9th February 2016

My Lords, I support the Bill and welcome the following very clear measures to tackle the issue of rogue landlords that will strengthen the private rented sector.

Private tenants need additional reassurance that rogue landlords will be driven out of business, and banning orders for these criminal landlords and property agents is needed to prevent them operating and repeating serious housing offences. As a council leader, I believe that having the ability to apply for banning orders, together with fines, against rogue landlords and property agents is essential. This will prevent serious or repeat offenders, who are known to cause misery and harm to renters and place them at serious risk, from letting property. In such cases, there should be no room for these operators within the sector. I am pleased that the Government are determined to crack down on these landlords so that they either improve the service they provide or leave.

I also welcome the introduction of a much-needed database of rogue landlords and property agents. This will allow greater co-operation of local authorities around the country to keep track on banning orders and monitor ongoing trends. Having this national co-operation will, as I said, prevent serious or repeat offenders who are known to be causing misery and harm to renters and placing them at serious risk, from letting property, and there should be no room for these operators within the sector.

I ask the Minister to assure noble Lords that further government intervention against rogue landlords will happen and that she will collaborate with council leaders, like myself, in bringing a rogue landlord database to fruition as soon as possible.