Rogue landlords beware

Rogue landlords and property agents could be banned under the rules of a new Housing and Planning Act that is soon to be introduced.

The Housing and Planning Act 2016 will bring in a range of planning and housing reforms giving housing authorities in England new powers.

They will be able to apply for banning orders against residential landlords or property agents who are convicted of a wide range of offences – although the exact offences for which the bans would be considered are yet to be confirmed.

The ban will prevent someone from letting property in England, working in an English letting agency, and working in the English property management sector.

It will be in place for at least 12 months, and if a landlord or agent breaches their ban, they could face a jail sentence or a fine of up to £30,000.

But even if the order is breached, this will not affect any tenancy agreement granted while the landlord or agent was under a ban.

Housing authorities in England will keep a database of any convicted of a banning order offence and every housing authority in England will have access to the information held.

The new Act will also clarify the steps a landlord can take to repossess a property let under an assured shorthold tenancy if it has been abandoned, without the need for a court order.

It states that a private landlord can give a tenant notice ending the tenancy on the very day that notice is given, if:

*the property is in England

*rent has not been paid

*the landlord has given a series of warning notices and no-one has responded in writing to any of them before a specified date

The tenant can only apply for their tenancy to be reinstated if they prove they had a good reason for failing to respond to the warning notices.