MPs block 'revenge eviction' bill

Posted on Tuesday, December 2, 2014

He said: “This is an outrageous, feudal situation that is untenable. If MPs now don’t reincarnate these provisions in the Consumer Rights Bill we will know they are prepared to throw renters to the wolves.”

Campbell Robb, Chief Executive of Shelter, concurred: “It’s outrageous that two MPs have obstructed a bill with cross-party support to end revenge evictions.

“Because of their actions, hundreds of thousands of people will continue to face the appalling choice between living in a home that puts them or their children in danger, or risking eviction if they complain.”

While being “broadly supportive” of the principles behind this Bill, David Cox (left), Managing Director of Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), agreed that the issue of retaliatory eviction needed “to be put to bed once and for all”.

He commented: “As they say however, the devil is in the detail and now that the Bill has been published we have concerns that it exposes landlords to frivolous and vexatious cases.

“ARLA wants to see the issue of retaliatory eviction resolved once and for all, but we must ensure that any legislation designed to tackle this minority of rogue operators does not infringe or restrict the rights of professional landlords and agents or frustrate legitimate possession proceedings.”

The National Landlords Association (NLA) always expressed its concern that there was a lack of evidence to justify the need for additional legislation, and it would seem that the majority of MPs share these reservations given that only 60 MPs were present to vote for it, according to Richard Lambert (right), Chief Executive Officer at the NLA.

He said' “Retaliatory eviction, if and where it does happen, is an unacceptable and completely unprofessional response. Tenants should be able to raise issues with their landlords without the fear of losing their home. However, the Tenancies (Reforms) Bill is a response more to the fear of it happening than widespread experience.”

Following the Bill’s failure to progress past the second reading in Parliament last week, Founder of Landlord Action, Paul Shamplina (left), who gave evidence at the end of October to the All Party Parliamentary Group, commented: “This 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.

“In the 24 years I have been dealing with problem tenants, I have only ever heard of the words “retaliation/revenge eviction” in the last 18 months. Section 21 gives a landlord an automatic right of possession without having to give any reason once the fixed term has expired.”