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Published On: July 20, 2023 | Last Updated On: July 28, 2023 | Blog | 0 comments

The Property Portal – what we know more following the Renters Reform Bill

In the conclusion to our previous blog on the Property Portal I noted the Government’s wish that “the portal will act as a trusted one-stop-shop for guidance on renting in the PRS – levelling up awareness of tenants’ and landlords’ rights and responsibilities across the country.” Now since the Renters (Reform) Bill was introduced in parliament on 17 May 2023, we have a considerably clearer vision of how the government envisages the Portal to meet its objective.

Registration of Entries on the Portal

The Renters Reform Bill deals with the Portal under Part 2, Chapter 3 ‘The Private Rented Sector Database.’ The Chapter provides that a database operator, either the Secretary of State or a person arranged by the Secretary of State, must establish and operate a database containing:

  • entries in respect of persons who are, or intend to become, residential landlords,
  • entries in respect of dwellings which are, or are intended to be, let under residential tenancies, and
  • entries made under section 40…

This means that the Portal will not only require ‘residential landlords’ to be registered, but the individual properties that are to be let to be registered as well. Each entry will have a unique identifier which will make it distinguishable. A registration fee will also be payable.

Importantly, the entries will not only include personal information about the landlord and the property, but also prescribed information including details of ownership or management of the property, and evidence relating to property standards including gas safety certificates and electrical installation condition reports.

The entries that will be kept up-to-date will be ‘active entries’. These entries will become inactive a) where these would not be kept up-to-date and b) where they would no longer be required. Where there will be no additional fees for keep the entries up-to-date, a higher fee will be payable to make inactive entries active again. Further, the entries will also need to be verified, corrected and removed.

The Bill notes that regulations will be needed to clarify various aspects such how and by whom entries will be made, who will verify, correct and remove entries. However, so far, it is clear that the landlords will have to ensure that they not only register themselves but their properties as well.

Offences under section 39 and section 48

To ensure active compliance, the Bill places an obligation on landlords to “not market, advertise or let a property unless there is an active landlord and dwelling entry in respect of the person who will be the residential landlord ad in respect of the dwelling which is to be let” under section 39. It also imposes an obligation to include the unique identifier in any advertisement.

On the other hand, section 48 states “a person commits an offence if the person knowingly or recklessly provides information to the database operator which is false or misleading in a material respect in purported compliance with a requirement imposed by regulations under this Chapter.”

Where a failure to comply with duties under section 39 will result in a fine of up to £5,000 on a summary conviction, a section 48 offence will result in a fine up to £30,000 on summary conviction if the local housing authority is ‘satisfied beyond reasonable doubt’ that an offence has been committed.

The scope of the Portal

The Bill also makes it clear that the scope of the Portal will be much wider than the Database of Rogue Landlords. Section 40 requires entries to be made where a person has received a banning order, or a person has been convicted of a banning order offence following criminal proceeding, or a financial penalty has been imposed in relation to a banning order offence.

Section 40 is particularly important as the scope of offences goes beyond banning order offences and the information to be included goes beyond the banning order offences information.

However, these entries will only be made where a) the period for appealing has expired and b) any such appeal has been finally determined, withdrawn or abandoned. The entries will also only be removed at the end of the period of 10 years beginning with the day on which the entry is made or when the ban ends, if later.

Further provisions in the Bill

In terms of the privacy concerns raised by landlords, the Bill provides that only the information that is necessary and proportionate for tenants to make informed decision will be made public. This will include personal information, property details and standards, unspent offences, financial penalties and regulatory notices or decisions. The information will assist tenants in choosing landlords and properties that are compliant with law and meet the necessary standards.

The Chapter also includes other provisions including:

  • an option of non-digital registration;
  • telephone advice line for users;
  • local housing authorities to be able to edit entries;
  • regulations and technological facilities to allow breaches of regulation to be reported;
  • publication of advice and information explaining landlords and tenants their rights and obligations;
  • removal of entries if they continue to be inactive for a continuous period of 5 years;
  • active entries to be made public not less than after 21 days beginning with the day on which the entry is made; and
  • regulations to specify circumstance in which information will cease to be public.


It is clear that regulations will need to review over the life of the database to reflect changes in property standards, as well as improve functionality of the database. This will allow the Portal to remain relevant if new housing offences are introduced in the future.

As it stands currently, a lot of tweaking will be required in both regulations and technology for the Portal to operate effectively and meet the different objectives for different users. The government has indicated that the Portal will be introduced as soon as possible after the Bill has received Royal Assent which means there is still sometime until the government can further fine tune the regulations and test the Portal.

* Disclaimer: The information on the Anthony Gold website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. It is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied.*

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