A huge 88% of tenants are unaware of the new law introduced today, 1st October, that protects them from revenge evictions, according to a study by the National Landlords Association (NLA).
The law, part of the Deregulation Act, will prevent landlords from ending a tenancy using a section 21 notice, or the no fault ground, if they do not address a complaint about the state of repair of the property made by their tenant to the local authority.
The NLA is urging local councils to provide a clear structure of how they plan to deal with complaints, to ensure that genuine issues are taken seriously and that false ones do not prolong the possession process.
CEO of the NLA, Richard Lambert, says: “These kinds of evictions are extremely rare but we have to make sure that complaints by tenants don’t just get lost in the system, regardless of whether they’re legitimate or not.
“The majority of landlords only choose to end a tenancy if it’s absolutely necessary, so we have to make sure that the system isn’t abused by those simply trying to prolong the evictions process.”
He continues: “We all know that local councils are under-resourced, but housing problems must take priority. If a tenant complains about a potentially hazardous issue then both they and their landlord should have a clear expectation of how and when the council will deal with it.
“If councils fail to act on complaints then it will undermine the law and tenants’ confidence in a system that’s supposed to protect them.”1
The survey also asked tenants why their last tenancy ended. It found:
- 9% of tenants were asked to leave a property after asking for repair or maintenance work to be conducted.
- 82% feel assured by the new law.
- 78% said their last tenancy ended at their own request.
- 15% ended as the landlord wished to sell the property.
- 4% ended because the tenant could no longer afford the rent.
- 1% ended as the tenant was in arrears.