5 ways the government plans to crack down on rogue landlords
2024 will see more measures to tackle non-compliant landlords, from a new law for emergency repairs to Manchester's proposed Rogue Landlord Charter.
The crack down on rogue landlords has been increasing over the last years, with local and central governments introducing new schemes and task forces to minimise the risk to tenants within social and private housing.
In January 2024, Housing Secretary Michael Gove announced new measures to crack down on rogue landlords. This was following the death of the two-year-old Awaab Ishak due to hazardous mould in his social housing rental home.
Here are five things that are currently happening in the government to crack down on rogue landlords across the UK.
- Awaab’s Law proposed for rogue social landlords
- Greater Manchester to crack down on rogue landlords
- Liverpool City Council launches Rogue Landlord Taskforce
- Votes passed to protect private renters from rogue landlords
- Renters (Reform) Bill’s property portal will help with compliance issues in England
Awaab’s Law proposed for rogue social landlords
Social landlords will need to complete emergency repairs within 24 hours of identification, following a consultation launched by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
Landlords have 24 hours to repair emergency hazards such as a damp or mould, and 7 days for non-emergency repairs, like issues with lighting or noise.
A new legal requirement for landlords has been proposed to ensure hazards identified within social housing must be addressed within seven days and emergency repairs within 24 hours. Landlords who don’t follow this timescale can be taken to court and pay possible compensation to tenants.
This requirement, called Awaab’s Law, is named after two-year-old Awaab Ishak, who died due to direct and prolonged exposure to mould in his home.
Faisal Abdullah, Awaab’s father said “We hope that Awaab’s Law will stop any other family going through the pain that we went through. Landlords need to listen to the concerns of tenants and we support these proposals.”
Greater Manchester to crack down on rogue landlords
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, says it is time to “get serious” about housing and rogue landlords. As part of his top priorities for 2024, he has opened the Good Landlord Charter consultation to help tenants distinguish between accredited and rogue landlords in private and social housing.
This proposed scheme will help tackle rogue landlords through a range of teams such as staff from the fire service, environmental health staff and police.
Andy Burnham says the greater Manchester area would “not accept this whole culture of landlords sometimes taking money through the benefits system, public money and then not putting a penny of that back into their properties”.
Liverpool City Council launches Rogue Landlord Task Force
On 1 December 2023, a Private Sector Housing Intelligence and Enforcement Task Force was launched by Liverpool City Council to address complex rogue landlord cases, such as landlords involved in the exploitation of properties.
Following a £2 million grant from the Department for Leveling Up, the council has collaborated with partners and organisations to help gather information and ban landlords from the market in Liverpool and the surrounding areas.
This task force fits with Liverpool City Council’s new Neighbourhood Model of working, aiming to work closer with other organisations to improve services and housing.
Votes passed to protect private renters from rogue landlords
Norwich City Council has passed a vote requiring all privately rented housing to have a minimum quality standard through a dedicated enforcement team and reported system.
The vote will also measure that landlords must have the correct licensing and a possible council tax increase for multiple homes in the city.
Brighton & Hove City Council has also introduced a fine to landlords who fail to meet required standards within the county to counter the reported issues.
The council’s private-sector housing team will request that landlords repair issues like leaking roofs or deal with potential hazards within the property. If properties are not up to standard, they will face a fine of about £500.
Renters Reform Bill's property portal will help compliance issues in England
A consultation on the rogue landlord database has also concluded that the property portal outlined in the white paper will give landlords a "single front door" to the relevant information for landlords, tenants, and local councils.
This will help landlords understand their obligations, give tenants access to compliance information, and ensure councils can use that data to crack down on rogue landlords.
Some of the "functionality" of the existing Database of Rogue Landlords will be included in the portal, to increase visibility over "eligible unspent landlord offences".
Wales introduced property portal, Rent Smart Wales, as part of the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 to help landlords keep in line with compliance requirements. England’s property portal, as part of the Renters Reform Bill, will be similar to Wales’s.
This article is intended as a guide only, and does not constitute legal advice. For more information, visit gov.uk.