An amendment to the Deregulation Bill on retaliatory evictions would put an impossible burden on councils and be ineffective in practice, claims the Residential Landlords Association (RLA). Landlords are criticising the amendment, which follows the content of Sarah Teather MP’s Bill, defeated last November.
The RLA condemns any attempts by landlords to engage in retaliatory evictions and the proposed legislation is not necessary as sufficient laws already exist to protect tenants.
The amendment is scheduled to be debated next week, 11th February. The RLA has written to Peers outlining objections to the amendment.
The RLA believes that the amendment is the wrong response to retaliatory evictions because:
- Consumer Rights regulations already make retaliatory evictions illegal and guidance by the Competition and Markets Authority has already been issued, making this amendment unnecessary.
- The amendment would prevent landlords from regaining possession of their property when tenants don’t pay their rent, commit anti-social behaviour, or claim for spurious repairs.
- Last year, the Communities and Local Government Select Committee warned against such legislation as it would “stunt the market”. The Government agreed with this assessment.
- There is no reliable information on the scale of the problem this seeks to address – the Government doesn’t collect the data.
Commenting on the amendment, 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 the minority of criminal operators who have no place in private rented sector.”