A concerning new BBC survey claims that powers to tackle so-called ‘revenge evictions’ are not being utilised by the majority of councils in England.
Since October 2015, it has been law that a Section 21 notice can no longer be served during the first four months of a tenancy agreement.
In addition, a further piece of legislation now prevents agents or landlords from ending a tenancy with a Section 21 notice, should they fail to address a complaint about the state of repair in a property made by their tenant to a local authority.
However, research conducted by BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat, which used Freedom of Information requests, shows that over half of local councils in England have not taken advantage of these powers.
This suggests that tenants either did not know about the new provisions, or that councils were unaware of their responsibilities after being informed.
At the time of the amendments to the law, a separate report from the National Landlords Association found that 90% of tenants had no clue of these changes.
Many tenants and councils unaware of new Section 21 rules
Labour MP, Clive Betts, chair of the Communities and Local Government select committee, told the BBC: ‘I can’t believe there are that many local authorities where no-one has been the subject to a revenge eviction. We’re talking about landlords here who are trying to avoid carrying out their responsibilities.’
‘They’re the landlords we’ve got to get at – and they’re going to be in the worst properties, with people living in the worst conditions. That’s the biggest challenge for everybody,’ Mr Betts added.