Campaigns Regulation and Enforcement

What makes a Criminal Landlord?

Dr Tom Simcock
Written by Dr Tom Simcock

The Government are now consulting on the offences that should constitute ‘banning order offences’ for landlords as defined by section 14 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016. The consultation documents can be found here. The online consultation period will run until 10th February 2017.

The government will be introducing these measures on a phased basis, and DCLG currently planning to bring in the civil penalties and extended rent repayment orders on 6th April 2017. The criminal landlord database, banning order provisions and management orders will be brought into force on 1st October 2017. However, these dates are currently subject to change.

The Government is proposing the following banning order offences:

Relevant housing offences
  • Illegally evicting or harassing a residential occupier in contravention of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 or the Criminal Law Act 1977

Any of the following offences under the Housing Act 2004:

  • Failure to comply with an Improvement Notice (section 30);
  • Offences in relation to licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) (section 72);
  • Offences in relation to licensing of houses under Part 3 of the Act (section 95);
  • Allowing a HMO that is not subject to licensing to become overcrowded (section 139);
  • Failure to comply with management regulations in respect of HMOs (section 234).

An offence under section 36 of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998;

Failure to comply with a Prohibition or Emergency Prohibition Order under sections 20, 21 and 43 of the Housing Act 2004;

An offence under section 32 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 provided it relates to a property that is being rented out or managed by a landlord or property agent.

Immigration offences

Letting to someone disqualified from renting because of their immigration status, resulting in an offence under Part 3 of the Immigration Act 2014.

Serious criminal offences

Any offence, whether committed by an individual or a body corporate, for which they have been sentenced in the Crown Court (regardless of whether they were originally convicted in the Crown Court or Magistrates Court) involving:

  • fraud under the Fraud Act 2006;
  • the production, possession or supply of all classes of illegal drugs (including poisons) and/or managing premises where drug dealing and/or production takes place; or
  • any offence under Schedule 15 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (specified violent and sexual offences).

The offence must have been committed:

  • at any residential premises in England, or in the local area9 of those premises; or
  • in relation to such residential premises.

In either case, the offender, or a person associated with him, must have owned or been involved in the management of the residential premises concerned at the time the offence was committed;

In addition, neither the offender nor the associated person must occupy the residential premises as their main residence and the offence must relate to the occupier of the residential premises.

Other criminal offences

Any offence, whether committed by an individual or a body corporate, for which the offender has been sentenced in the Crown Court (regardless of whether they were originally convicted in the Crown Court or Magistrates Court).

The offence must have been committed against, or in conjunction with, any person who was residing at the property owned by the offender, other than a person associated with the offender.

 

The RLA will be submitting a response of its own, but if you would like to submit your own consultation response you can do so here:

Take the Government Consultation survey here

Please let us know what your thoughts of these proposals are in the comments section below, do you think they are appropriate?

For more information:

 

About the author

Dr Tom Simcock

Dr Tom Simcock

Tom is the Senior Researcher for the RLA and leads the RLA’s research lab; the Private renting Evidence, Analysis and Research Lab (PEARL). His expertise lies in researching change in society, public policy and quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. Tom’s research on housing has received national media coverage, featuring on the front page of The Times, has influenced government policy making, and has been cited in debates in the House of Commons, House of Lords and by the London Mayor.

3 Comments

  • These are ridiculous!!! Only this morning I was discussing the subject of Enforcement Officers with your colleague Daniel on the telephone. For example, in Gwynedd North Wales, they have 7 Enforcement Officers only throughout the county. They cannot enforce the RSW obligatory Licencing policy let alone enforce these new laws. What a shower. Not a grain of sense between them.

  • Any added initiative is welcomed, however, there is little point in adding further protections if the designated agencies are unwilling to enforce their powers or are unable to do so due to lack of resources. The first move that need to be made is to change the use of such powers from being an option to one of a statutory duty and the second is greater local community control over the allocation by LA`s of those resources.

  • I think that they are appropriate.
    It is important that it is linked to housing/portfolios and as usual it should be police properly to prevent criminals from running rings around the law.

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