New move to outlaw ‘revenge’ evictions - Palmers Solicitors

New move to outlaw ‘revenge’ evictions

The government is backing moves by an MP to stop rogue landlords carrying out revenge evictions.

Communities Minister Stephen Williams announced on 11 September that the government would back Sarah Teather’s Private Member’s Bill, targeting landlords who evict tenants for asking for essential repairs to be made, with the proviso that the legislation cannot be used by tenants to frustrate legitimate evictions.

The Bill will extend the existing restrictions on a landlord’s power to evict to situations where a health and safety hazard has been identified by environmental health officers.

Mr Williams said: “Our private rental sector is a vital asset, providing a home to nine million people across the country. So I’m determined to root out the minority of rogue landlords that give it a bad name. That’s why we’re backing Sarah Teather’s Bill to outlaw revenge evictions…ensuring tenants do not face the prospect of losing their home simply because they’ve asked for essential repairs to be made.

Citizens Advice welcomed the government announcement. Chief executive Gillian Guy said:  “Preventing landlords from turfing people out of their homes simply for asking for essential property repairs is a matter of basic fairness and is long overdue.”

Meanwhile, tenants have been given further protection under new rules that required all letting agents to have joined a government-authorised redress scheme by 1 October 201.

Schemes run by the Property Ombudsman, Ombudsman Services Property and the Property Redress Scheme offer independent investigation into complaints about hidden fees or poor service.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said: “The vast majority of letting agents provide a good service, but in the small number of cases where people have complaints these should be addressed quickly and effectively.

“The redress schemes provide that safety net and, as well as help maintaining high standards across letting agencies, will give tenants the extra confidence that they are getting a fair deal.”

Palmers partner Andrew Skinner said: “The government’s moves to raise standards in the residential property sector will be welcomed by tenants and by landlords already delivering high quality properties and services.

“However, even the best landlords and tenants can be drawn into stressful disputes and expert legal advice can be valuable in minimising the time and costs involved in resolving such disagreements. We always seek to achieve solutions without the need for court proceedings and if it does go to court, will work to conclude the case as quickly and efficiently as possible. For more information, please contact us.”