Law to protect tenants fails to stop rogue landlords
Convicted UK landlords who have been ruled unfit to rent out their properties are continuing to operate by exploiting loopholes in the law that is supposed to protect the most vulnerable tenants.
Rogue owners are collecting rents – often funded by taxpayers via housing benefit – despite being convicted of housing offences and failing to pass the “fit and proper” person tests required by housing legislation in England and Wales, an investigation by the Guardian and ITV News has found.
Because of the way the law is written, this is usually perfectly legal. The investigation also discovered that local authorities have failed to make a single entry on to the central government’s new rogue landlord database in the six months since its launch. The contents of the database are being kept secret, and the government said it was “not in the public interest” to explain why.