The National Landlords Association (NLA) has spoken out against local councils for telling private tenants to ignore eviction notices from their landlords and instead await bailiffs before moving out.
The organisation reports that half (49%) of tenants who’ve been served a section 21 notice by their private landlord say they have been told to ignore the order by their local council or an advice service such as Shelter or the Citizens Advice Bureau.
The statistic highlights the scale of the issue, which has been exacerbated by the increasing use of private landlords by local authorities to relieve their housing responsibilities.
The NLA believes that the advice is increasingly being offered, as councils are refusing to accept tenants’ housing applications before an order for possession has been granted by a court, despite guidance from central Government, which confirms that all housing applications must be accepted from the time notice is served on a tenant.
The Chairman of the NLA, Carolyn Uphill, comments on the issue: “We’ve always known that tenants receive this kind of advice, and it’s a huge problem because it damages the confidence of landlords who work in the community to home those who aren’t able to access social housing.
“There is no justification for prolonging the stress and uncertainty brought by a possession case. Advice like this creates unnecessary strain on tenants, landlords and the courts service, which must first hear the case and order possession before councils are prepared to carry out their statutory duties.
“Nobody should ever be told to wait until the bailiffs turn up; it makes an already unpleasant situation much worse for everyone, and creates a vicious cycle of misery and spiralling costs for all involved.”1