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Retaliatory Evictions proposals return under Deregulation Bill

RLA
Written by RLA

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…

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.”

About the author

RLA

RLA

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) represents the interests of landlords in the private rented sector (PRS) across England and Wales. With over 23,000 subscribing members, and an additional 16,000 registered guests who engage regularly with the association, we are the leading voice of private landlords. Combined, they manage almost half a million properties.

4 Comments

  • There are sitting in tenants three years running. I have been in and put of court as they tried to abuse loop holes in the regulation in existence. Between them, there is a huge rent arrears. If care is not taking they will soon drive me bankrupt. In my view, more regulation will be a great killer to landlords.

  • At the moment current legislation covers retaliatory eviction, more laws will make impossible for good lanlandlords who provide excellent accommodation impossible to work as there is a right balance
    More enforcement with current legislation would be the best point of focus
    tenants already have too many rights
    In the end it would not be possible for landlords to work if responsible landlords are not supported.
    J

  • “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 would be good if the RLA could provide more information about this. How do consumer rights regs make this illegal? I for one do not know of any landlords that have been convicted for retaliatory evictions under consumer rights regs? Have there been any? Guidance by the CMA on the other hand is exactly that – guidance. Landlord’s aren’t bound by it.

  • I was also unaware of anything in trading standards that made retaliatory eviction illegal. However, I feel that this is a sledgehammer to crack a walnut. I am sure that this happens, but is not the universal experience of tenants or practice of landlords. Landlords need to ensure that their tenants complaints are dealt with seriously, probably by having a report given in writing by the tenant of repair issues. Keep on top of repairs, make sure tenants know what a repair is (it’s not changing light bulbs) and keep on good terms with the tenant. We don’t need more legislation, but we do need the legislation we have got acting more effectively.

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