The Tenancies Reform Bill presented by Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather, aimed at stopping 'revenge evictions’, last week failed to secure enough votes to continue making progress in Parliament and go on to become law.
Now Landlord Action founder Paul Shamplina, who gave evidence to the All Party Parliamentary Group looking into the issue, says this failure is “great news” for landlords.
“Whilst I fully agree that tenants need to be protected from the small minority of rogue landlords, there simply wasn’t enough evidence to support the need for more legislation, which would have impacted a large number of good, reliable landlords” he says.
“In the 24 years I have been dealing with problem tenants, I’ve only ever heard of the words “retaliation/revenge eviction” in the last 18 months” he says.
“Section 21 gives a landlord an automatic right of possession without having to give any grounds once the fixed term has expired. Shelter’s figures that 213,000 tenants have been served Section 21 notices as revenge evictions must be guess work because without surveying every landlord, it is hard to understand how they have reached this figure.
A recent survey of landlords that had instructed Landlord Action to serve Section 21 notices revealed that only two per cent had ever served one because the tenant had asked for repairs.
Some 28 per cent served notice because there were rent arrears and 15 per cent needed the property back so they could sell; another 13 per cent needed to move back into the property themselves while 11 per cent wanted to re-let to another tenant to obtain more rent and eight per cent claimed the tenant wanted to be evicted so they could be re-housed by the local council.
“Passing this bill would have created a loophole for tenants to remain in properties for longer, lead to further rental arrears problems, stretched the resources of local authorities even further and lead to longer delays at court” says Shamplina.