Landlords and letting agents who give the rental business a bad reputation will be named and shamed from April this year.

The Government is to publish a blacklist of offenders who have received a banning order to bar them from future involvement in the lettings market.

Doesn’t matter whether the rogue is a landlord, agent or an employee working in property management, they’re for it.

Among the most common offences which can lead to a banning order are unlawful eviction and harassment, acts of violence to force a way into a property and offences relating to the licensing of houses of multiple occupation.

Michael Cook, managing director of the letting division of Romans, one of the leading agencies in the south east with two offices in Bucks welcomed the tougher measures to rid the industry of bad eggs but says it’s not yet clear whether the database of blacklisted names will be available to the public.

“There may be some variations and additions before the regulations are finalised and approved.”

He added: “We are delighted to see the government taking action on this issue. 

“Rogue landlords and agents give the whole industry a bad name.”

The Berkshire-based agent has long been an advocate for cracking down on tenants who sublet without prior agreement with the landlord.

He says both sides stand to lose: “By subletting without permission the tenants are in breach of the tenancy agreement entitling the landlord to take legal action which can result in eviction. 

“A sublet property can also be detrimental to the landlord as it may void the insurance policy they have on the property. 

“It can also give rise to debts and problems over accountability and maintenance.”

The agency is a member of the rental industry’s professional body ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents).

The organisation’s chief executive David Cox described the new code of practice introduced last week for landlords and agents involved with rentals in Scotland as “a watershed moment for the industry.”

Letting agents north of the border have until September 30 to familiarise themselves with the new regulations and complete any training to bring themelves up to standard.

After that, it will be a criminal offence to work as an agent if they are not on the register.

“We have long campaigned for the regulation of letting agents both north and south of the border,” said Mr Cox.

*Recent research found that 42 per cent of renters hadn’t considered whether their agent was a member of a professional body before signing on the dotted line. “It didn’t cross their mind to ask. One in six wrongly assumed all agents were regulated.” 

By not checking, tenants put themselves at risk of not getting their full deposit back and worse still, not being given a reason why (12 per cent), struggling to get old items replaced (20 per cent) and waiting a long time for defects to be fixed (38 per cent).

“Those who did check if their agent was a member of a professional body lucked out with shorter waiting times when things needed fixing with issues typically addressed within a week (41 per cent). By contrast only 25 per cent of those who didn’t check had their issues solved within a week.”