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No Hiding Place for Criminal Landlords after Tribunal Decision

April 24, 2015

A landmark Information Tribunal ruling, means that the names of individuals found guilty of offences under the Housing Act 2004 can now be put into the public domain.

The case brought by Environmental Health News (EHN), overturned a previous decision by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO), which ruled at the time that disclosure by the Ministry of Justice would cause ‘harm and distress’ to those involved. The ICO also considered housing offences to be at the ‘lower end of seriousness.’ The tribunal unanimously agreed however, that the release of details of those convicted was in the public interest.

The ruling stated that the tribunal was; ‘satisfied that not only is the disclosure of this information in the substantial public interest, but also any reasonably informed data controller with knowledge of the social needs and the impact of such disclosure would so conclude.’

The information will be of use to Local Authorities considering taking formal action and will give tenants the opportunity to make informed decisions before taking up tenancies. Earlier this month the National Landlords Association launched the National Register of Accredited Landlords aimed at providing a quick and simple way to check whether a landlord is accredited. The register is open to every accredited landlord and accreditation scheme. 

You can view the full Information Tribunal ruling HERE

The Register of Accredited Landlords can be found at www.checkmylandlord.org.uk