Revenge evictions to be debated in House of Lords

Warren Lewis -
8th December 2014
To Let

The Tenancies Reform Bill is being revived by Lib Dem peers with its proposals being added as new amendments to the Deregulation Bill.

This development means there is another opportunity for measures to prevent ‘revenge evictions’ to become law when the Bill is debated in the House of Lords in January.
The initial Bill by MP Sarah Teather  had cross-party support and the backing of London mayor Boris Johnson, and charities and campaign groups such as Shelter, Crisis, Citizens Advice, Barnardo's, the Children's Society, the NUS and Generation Rent.
However, the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has claimed the amendment to the Deregulation Bill would put an impossible burden on councils and be ineffective in practice.
The organisation believes that the amendment is the wrong response to retaliatory evictions and that existing regulations can be used to protect tenants.
It said Consumer Rights regulations already make retaliatory evictions illegal and guidance by the Competition and Markets Authority has already been issued, making this amendment unnecessary.
It also argues that the amendment would prevent landlords from regaining possession of their property when tenants don’t pay their rent or commit anti-social behaviour and claim for spurious repairs.
The RLA added that there is no reliable information on the scale of the problem this seeks to address as the government doesn’t collect the data.
Alan Ward, chairman of the RLA, said: “The RLA shares concerns about the need to tackle retaliatory evictions and condemns any landlord who engages in such practices.
Rather than pile yet more regulations on the sector, what is needed is better enforcement of existing powers which hard pressed councils already find difficult to enforce. Tenants need better information about their rights and responsibilities. That would give many the confidence to complain about a minority of landlords who have no place in private rented sector.”

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