Committee (1st Day)

Part of Housing and Planning Bill – in the House of Lords at 6:15 pm on 9th February 2016.

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Photo of Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville Liberal Democrat 6:15 pm, 9th February 2016

My Lords, I thank noble Lords who have taken part in this short debate. I am very grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Beecham, for mentioning the anonymising of tenants’ names on the list. It is very important that their names should not be released.

I cannot pretend that I am anything other than disappointed with the Minister’s response. It is very important that the appeals are heard in a timely manner and I think 28 days is a reasonable time in which to hear an appeal. In other parts of the Bill we shall come to issues of abandonment, where there are very definite timescales that people must abide by. So I find it somewhat strange that we cannot have a timescale for hearing the appeals. This may be something we wish to return to on Report.

With regard to the list of landlords being anonymised and not released to tenants, I cannot see the point of holding a list if it is be anonymised. That seems somewhat perverse. Tenants should have access to the list and should be able to see whether their landlord is on the database. I accept that rogue landlords will be on the database when they may not have a banning order. I understand that difference but, nevertheless, these are not the kinds of landlords we wish to promote. The Minister has indicated that she does not wish to drive rogue landlords out of business, but what of the good landlords? There are hundreds and thousands of responsible landlords operating their properties for the benefit of their tenants and just one or two rogue landlords are in danger of giving other landlords a very bad name. We should be able to name and shame these rogue landlords.

However, I understand the Minister’s view. It is possible that we may return to this but I will withdraw my amendment.