According to findings from The National Landlords Association, 88% of tenants say they are unaware of a new law introduced today (1st October) that is intended to protect them from so called retaliatory or revenge evictions.
The new law, introduced as part of the Deregulation Act, will prevent landlords from ending a tenancy using a section 21 or ‘no fault’ notice if they fail to address a complaint about the state of repair of the property that is made by their tenant to the local authority.
The National Landlords Association (NLA) is calling on local councils to provide a clear framework for how they plan to deal with complaints in order to ensure that legitimate ones are taken seriously and that spurious ones don’t unnecessarily prolong the possession process.
Richard Lambert, Chief Executive Officer, National Landlords Association (NLA) said: “These kinds of evictions are extremely rare but we have to make sure that complaints by tenants don’t just get lost in the system, regardless of whether they’re legitimate or not.
The majority of landlords only choose to end a tenancy if it’s absolutely necessary, so we have to make sure that the system isn’t abused by those simply trying to prolong the evictions process.
We all know that local councils are under-resourced but housing problems must take priority. If a tenant complains about a potentially hazardous issue then both they and their landlord should have a clear expectation of how and when the council will deal with it.
If councils fail to act on complaints then it will undermine the law and tenants’ confidence in a system that’s supposed to protect them”.
The research, which also asked tenants why their last tenancy came to an end, found that:
• Just nine per cent of tenants feel they were asked to leave a private rented property after asking for repairs or maintenance to be carried out
• 82% of tenants say they feel assured by the new law
• 78% said their last tenancy ended at the their own request
• 15% ended because the landlord wanted to sell the property.
• Just 4% ended because the tenant could no longer afford the rent
• 1% ended because the tenant was in arrears