Private Rented Sector Database

The Renters (Reform) Bill, published on 17 May 2023 sets out the UK Government’s objectives for reducing the number of poor-quality homes by 2030 which the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities states is critical to levelling up the country.

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Within the White Paper, the UK Government made a commitment to establish a new Property Portal that would include all the vital information agents, tenants and landlords need to know. This information would range from legal requirements to rights and the landlord’s history of compliance.

If enacted, the Renters (Reform) Bill would establish the Private Rented Sector Database, a precursor to a future digital Privately Rented Property Portal service which the UK Government hopes to establish. The Database would contain the following information:

  • Details of people who are, or who intend to become, residential landlords
  • Details of properties which are, or are intended to be, let as residential properties
  • Details of landlords who have received banning orders, including details of financial penalties or convictions relating to banning orders

A letting agent or landlord would be unable to let or market a property to rent if there is no active landlord or property entry for that property registered on the Database. If a landlord fails to join the Database, they will be fined up to £5,000 by their local council. Repeated offences could lead up to fines of £30,000. 

Letting agents

It will be the expectation that letting agents will need to check if a landlord and property are correctly registered on the Database before they market a property for let. Property agents will face penalties if they advertise or market residential properties for rent which are not registered.

Once established, the Database will incorporate the Privately Rented Property Portal and start to include further information related to property standards, although the exact information continues to be deliberated by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

Database of Rogue Landlords and Property Agents

The Privately Rented Property Portal will replace the functionality of the Database of Rogue Landlords and Property Agents with landlords required to pay to register for the Property Portal. Propertymark has long called for the Database of Rogue Landlords and Property Agents to be made public and it is therefore positive to see steps taken to establish this.

A key area for letting agents is the private rented sector database, property portal and landlord ombudsman and how these will interact with registration, unique identifiers and requirements before and when advertising property to rent.

These are key policies that we will engage government and parliamentarians on in order to ensure they understand the value that letting agents play in delivering well managed, safe and secure rented property. The legislation must be workable, and evidence based.

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Timothy Douglas Head of Policy and Campaigns | Propertymark