Plans to 'name and shame' rogue landlords announced during raids in Newham
PUBLISHED: 14:48 26 April 2017 | UPDATED: 11:25 27 April 2017
The Mayor of London announced plans to "name and shame" rogue landlords during raids on Newham properties today.
Sadiq Khan witnessed raids on three houses in Plaistow and East Ham - at least one of which was infested with cockroaches - early this morning.
London’s mayor said: “I refuse to stand by as thousands of Londoners suffer sky-high rents and horrendous living conditions.
“Today I have seen first-hand the abysmal conditions that some private renters are forced to endure,” he added.
During the raids the mayor of London watched as multiple families squeezed into homes meant for only one were questioned by police and housing officers about their rent, contracts and living conditions as part of an evidence collecting operation.
“The vast majority of landlords treat renters well – but a minority are exploiting their tenants and it’s simply unacceptable,” Sadiq said before announcing plans to create a database naming and shaming rogue landlords.
Joining Sadiq on the raids, Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales said: “Newham has pioneered the fight against rogue landlords.
“We are determined to continue tackling the scandal of sub-standard and dangerous accommodation, illegal evictions and extortionate rent rises,” he added.
Newham Council was the first local authority to introduce borough-wide landlord licensing and has prosecuted more than 1,100 criminal landlords since 2013. It has also banned 28 landlords from operating. But the Mayor of London urged the government to support its renewal with the five year scheme due to run out in December.
Sadiq said: “I fully support the excellent work councils like Newham are doing to target the worst offenders. I will continue to support them and other boroughs who use licensing schemes to drive up standards. The Government must allow this great work to continue.”
The new database - to be launched in the autumn on the Mayor of London’s website - will allow renters to check if a landlord or lettings agent has been prosecuted for housing offences. Renters will be able to search and report suspected criminal landlords on the London.gov.uk website.
Six councils including Newham will submit records of housing prosecutions to the database before the scheme is rolled out to all the capital’s councils later this year.
Seb Klier, a manager at campaign group Generation Rent, said: “At the moment, renters sign a tenancy with no information about whether their landlord has a good record.
“This initiative will empower renters and put the capital’s worst offenders on red alert, letting them know that if they mistreat their tenants, they will be exposed,” he added.