Government moves to shield tenants from revenge evictions

5th February 2015

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The government has announced measures to give tenants greater protection against rogue landlords.

Liberal Democrat communities minister Stephen Williams is targeting landlords who shirk their legal responsibilities and use the threat of eviction to silence tenants from speaking out against sub-standard and unsafe accommodation.

Amendments to the Deregulation Bill will extend the existing restrictions on a landlord’s powers to evict, where they do not protect a deposit or have a licence they are required to hold, to situations where a health and safety hazard has been identified by environmental health officers.

Williams said: “We’re determined to create a bigger, better private rented sector – a key part of that is to tackle the minority of rogue landlords that blight the lives of their tenants.

“That’s why I’m proposing changes to the law that would outlaw so-called ‘revenge evictions’, so tenants don’t face the prospect of losing their home simply for asking that repairs be made.”

The new measures follow campaigning from Liberal Democrat MP for Brent Central Sarah Teather in the House of Commons and Baroness Bakewell in the House of Lords as well as Williams.

Teather added: “Too many people are currently forced to put up with dangerous or unsanitary conditions because they fear eviction. Understandably, they don’t want to leave their community or take their kids out of the local school – or face the costs of moving to another home.”

On the initiative Baroness Bakewell added: “I am very pleased that we have been able to persuade the Government to support Sarah Teather’s efforts to end this pointless suffering. Retaliatory evictions have effected far too many people for far too long.”

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