A second front has been opened in the parliamentary battle over retaliatory eviction. Today, Peers will debate an amendment to the Consumer Rights Bill tabled by Crossbencher, Baroness Howe of Idlicote, calling on the Secretary of State to issue guidance on how to protect tenants from retaliatory eviction under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988.
The Residential Landlords Association is opposing the amendment, arguing that the definition of retaliatory eviction in Baroness Howe’s amendment is too broad; that the government has failed to gather any reliable information about the scale of the problem; and that the practice is already illegal under consumer protection regulations.
The RLA also point out that the Communities and Local Government Select Committee, in their report on the PRS, did not believe legislation was needed in this area:
Page 63 reads:
“There is a perception amongst some tenants that if they speak out it could result in their losing their home. Tenants should be able to make requests or complain without fear that doing so will lead the landlord to seek possession. We are not convinced, however, that a legislative approach is the best or even an effective solution. Changing the law to limit the issuing of section 21 notices might be counter-productive and stunt the market.”
And the Government agreed in their response to the report:
“The Government accepts the Committee’s recommendation about retaliatory eviction, and agrees that legislation is not the preferred approach.”