‘Revenge Eviction’ plan slammed by private landlords

Dean Evans
By Dean Evans February 24, 2015 09:20

The UK’s private landlords have slammed the government’s new plans to tackle so-called ‘revenge evictions’, claiming the legislation will become a “charter for anti-social tenants”.

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) says the plans risks stunting the “only part of the housing market that is growing” when the sector needs to "attract further investment to meet ever growing demand”.

The government’s amendment to the Deregulation Bill, due to be debated in the House of Lords next week, raises the prospect of landlords being unable to swiftly remove tenants who are failing to pay their rent or committing anti-social behaviour, the RLA has complained. 

According to the RLA, under the amendment, landlords would be barred from issuing a notice to remove a tenant (a Section 21 notice) when a tenant makes a written complaint to the landlord about conditions in a property. This, the RLA claims, would make it almost impossible for a landlord to regain possession of a property if the tenant is misbehaving.

The amendment follows last year’s failed attempt by Lib Dem MP Sarah Teather to introduce a Retaliatory Evictions Bill in the Commons.

‘Revenge evictions’ occur when landlords chuck out tenants who make complaints about their property’s conditions.

The RLA condemns any attempts by landlords to engage in retaliatory evictions but says that the proposed legislation is not necessary as sufficient laws already exist to protect tenants.

RLA chairman Alan Ward said: “We have always been vehemently opposed to any landlord who commits a  retaliatory eviction. But we believe this latest proposal is a sledgehammer to crack a nut, with very little evidence  to suggest that there is a widespread problem.

“Our survey of landlords last year underlined the fact that landlords are very reluctant to evict their tenants and when they do it’s usually for significant rent arrears or anti-social behaviour.

“This legislation would bring more administrative burdens for landlords, and would hamper their efforts to manage their homes responsibly. It could threaten the growth of a sector which has become increasingly vital to meeting our country’s housing needs.

“We don’t need more laws in place when there is already strong protection for tenants. But what we do need is better information for tenants so they know what to do if they have a problem.

“We are therefore pleased to see that the government’s amendment provides for this and we look forward to working with ministers and others to improve tenant understanding of their rights and responsibilities.”

Dean Evans
By Dean Evans February 24, 2015 09:20

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