Banning Orders: Housing & Planning Act 2016 (Banning Order Offences) Regulations 2017
1st January 2018
Banning orders are orders handed out by local authorities which prevent landlords and letting agents from operating if they are convicted of committing serious offences.
In 2016, the Government suggested "banning orders would be put in place when rogue landlords commit serious offences against tenants. This could include failing to carry out work required by the council to prevent a health and safety risk to tenants, threatening tenants with violence, or illegally evicting them."
However, the new rules as set out in the latest act formalise the rules and even extend the rules to those convicted of serious criminal offences regardless of whether the crimes committed were against their tenants or not. However, it is most likely that the majority of landlords who receive these will be for serious housing offences. With that being said, when Landlords apply for a HMO license, they're required to do a fit and proper persons check which
involves a background check. If there are any serious criminal offences on your record, it is likely your HMO licence
will be declined.
If a landlord receives a banning order they are forced to use a managing agent, it is important to note, however, that both managing and lettings agents can be banned from operating too.
But, how do you know if a landlord is banned? And for banned landlords (or any landlord for that matter), how do you know if a letting agent is banned?
On the 1st October 2017, the Rogue Landlord Database was created and is held by local authorities. Unfortunately, it is not open to the public, nor is it open to landlords and letting agents. However, London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, chose to make the City of London's Rogue Landlord Database open to the public and has publicly welcomed other local authorities to submit their data to the Rogue Landlord Database.
It has caused outrage within the community of tenants, landlords and agents alike because how do tenants know whether a landlord is rogue or not? How do letting agents know if our clients are rogue? How do our clients know whether letting agents are rogue? Alongside this, should there not be a Rogue Tenant Database?
There are multiple offences that can result in a landlord or agent receiving a banning order, there are fourteen individual offences against acts that can result in a banning order, seven to fourteen apply if;
- against a tenant in a shared house or with resident landlord; and,
- sentenced for the offence in court.
The fourteen offences are as follows:
- Unlawful eviction and harassment of occupiers. as found in Protection from Eviction Act 1977
- Violence for securing Entry. Criminal Law Act 1977
- Failing to comply with an improvement notice. Housing Act 2004; and,
Failing to comply with prohibition order,
Offences in relation to licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO),
Offences in relation to licensing of houses under Part 3,
Contravention of overcrowding notice,
Failure to comply with management regulations in respect to HMO,
False or misleading information, also contained within the act.
- Fire safety offences. as found in regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
- Gas safety offences - duties on landlords. As found in Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
- Residential tenancies - landlord offences / agent offences. as found in Immigration Act 2014.
- Fraud. as found in the Fraud Act 2006; and,
Possessions etc. of articles for use in frauds,
Making or supplying articles for use in frauds,
Participating in fraudulent business carried on by sole trader etc,
Obtaining services dishonestly,
Liability of company officers for offences by company, found in the same act.
- Specified violent and sexual offences. as found in Criminal Justice Act 2003.
- Occupiers etc. of premises to be punishable for permitting certain activities to take place there. as found in Misuse of Drugs Act 1971; and,
Concealing etc. criminal property. as found in Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, Arrangements, Acquisition, use and possession, found in the same act.
- Offence of harassment, as found in Protection from Harassment Act 1997.
- Offence of stalking, in the same act.
- Breach of criminal behaviour order, under Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014; and,
Failure to comply with a community protection notice, in the same act.
- Destroying or damaging property, under Criminal Damage Act 1971; and,
Prohibition of certain activities relating to opium,
Prohibition of supply etc. of articles for administering or preparing controlled drugs,
Attempts etc. to commit offences,
Assisting in or inducing commission outside United Kingdom of offence punishable under corresponding law,
Offences by corporations,
Threats to destroy or damage property,
Possessing anything with intent to destroy or damage property, all found in the same act.
- Theft. under Theft Act 1968; and,
Handling of stolen goods.
It is important to bear in mind that these offences do not have to be committed against a tenant to result in a banning order.
Hopefully, by keeping this in mind, you will be able to avoid receiving a banning order. With that being said, it is always important to make sure those you work with, in terms of managing or letting agents are also aware of good practices and the law which, ultimately, is the best way to avoid a banning order.