The Government is planning to introduce powers for local authorities to ban rogue letting agents and landlords on October 1, 2017.
It will be the first time that, in law, a letting agent can be banned.
Despite lobbying and failed parliamentary attempts, successive governments have refused to re-classify letting agents so that they come under the jurisdiction of the Estate Agents Act, which allows sales agents to be banned from the industry.
The result has been a lack of any mechanism to ban letting agents who may, for example, have stolen thousands of pounds of deposits and rents. There is currently nothing to stop them coming out of jail one day and starting up again the next.
There will be a consultation first on what the offences might be that could lead to the banning of rogue agents and landlords.
New housing minister Gavin Barwell said: “The Housing and Planning Act 2016 introduced a power enabling local authorities to apply to the First Tier tribunal for a banning order against a person or organisation who has been convicted of a banning order offence.
“Banning order offences will be specified in Regulations following a public consultation and will be subject to the affirmative procedure.
“We are planning to introduce this power on 1 October 2017.”