Clarity required before Revenge Eviction legislation

Clarity required before Revenge Eviction legislation

Clarity for “Revenge Eviction” Legislation
Landlords urge clarity before “Revenge Eviction” legislation and Landlord Group backs call.

A new report by a cross-party group of MPs and peers calls for better data on the scale of revenge evictions in the private rented sector and questions whether new restrictions are needed.

The Residential Landlords Association has welcomed calls by MPs and peers to hold off on new legislation to restrict so-called revenge evictions which could damage the Private Rented Sector.

A private member’s bill to address retaliatory evictions – where tenants who complain about the state of their property are then issued with an eviction notice – failed to pass through the House of Commons in November. But peers are to debate similar measures as an amendment to the Deregulation Bill in the New Year.

This would mean: tenants deemed “victims” of revenge evictions and renters living in homes so poor the council has intervened would be given six months protection and, key safeguards and exemptions would be put in place for law-abiding landlords.

And now a report has been published by the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Private Rented Sector warning that without more evidence to clarify the “bewildering” variety of data on the issue, it’s not certain that legislation is ‘necessarily the best tool’.

The RLA said the report offered a welcome opportunity to consider the true extent of the problems of retaliatory evictions before further action is taken, but what do you think the best solution is?

RLA chairman Alan Ward said:

“Today’s report brings some much-needed clear thinking to the debate which should be based on facts and data and not on hyperbole.

“Retaliatory evictions are wrong and the RLA condemns any landlord who engages in such practices. But the RLA agrees that Parliament needs clear, independent evidence on the scale of the problem before it can decide how best to take the matter forward. The Minister has admitted the government does not have the data.”

The amendment to the Deregulation Bill would mean that where a landlord is given a notice from their local authority to improve their property, they could not regain possession of the home for six months.

At Evict My Tenant Limited we understand that it can be a frustrating situation to be in when you legally want to obtain possession of your own investment – that’s why we act quickly and legally so Landlords and Letting Agents can do so.

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Nicholas Gordon, Director of Evict My Tenant Limited commented on this matter and how it may effect fair evictions

“In my view this will slow down any fair eviction process that any law abiding landlord may want to go through. Every house, even high end properties will have some form of minor defect. My worry is that a tenant may use this as an excuse to delay serving a section 21 or worst case withhold rent payments. I believe all landlords should provide good quality accommodation and if they fall short on this, then yes penalties should be put in place for those rogue landlords. I feel that the reform Bill will have a major effect on the good landlords that simply require possession of their property.”

The RLA supports the APPG’s view that this approach would provide no incentive for a landlord to rectify problems swiftly. The report instead calls for a landlord to regain possession rights as soon as improvements have been made.

The MPs and Peers also call for a time limit to be set in which a local authority would have to investigate a tenant’s complaint. After this, the report calls for landlord to regain full rights to repossess the property to avoid an indefinite period of limbo for tenants and landlords alike.

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