Liberal Democrat MP, for Brent Central, Sarah Teather’s bill to tackle retaliatory evictions has today been published, ahead of its second reading on Friday. The Tenancies (Reform) Bill will stop landlords evicting tenants who make a complaint about essential repairs or poor conditions in their homes. It has cross-party support, and the Government is supporting the bill in principle.
Figures from Shelter show 213,000 people have been victims of revenge eviction in the last year alone. On top of this, one in eight tenants have not asked for repairs because they fear eviction. Research also reveals those who find it most difficult to rent – including families receiving Housing Benefit and BME people – are more likely to be evicted simply for complaining about a serious problem in their home. On Friday, MPs will get the chance to support the bill at its second reading in the House of Commons.
Commenting, Sarah Teather said: "This is a great opportunity for us to make the private rented sector work better for tenants, local authorities and good landlords alike. Many people 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. This is also bad for good landlords. They want to know about problems as they arise – not get a nasty surprise when tenants leave the property. Stopping revenge eviction will also give local authorities the confidence to use their powers to tackle poor conditions in the private rented sector."
"That’s why I am urging MPs to turn up to support the bill on Friday, and put a stop to retaliatory eviction once and for all." Ms Teather added.
Campbell Robb, Shelter's chief executive said: "No family should have to live in a home that puts their health and well-being at risk, let alone face eviction just for asking their landlord to fix a problem. Yet every day, we hear from parents up and down the country living in fear that damp or gas and electrical hazards are putting their children in danger, but feeling powerless to do anything about it. This has to stop. With a bill to end revenge evictions going through parliament this week, we now have a real chance to change the law and protect renting families. We're calling on people across the country to email their MPs and ask them to vote to end this unfair practice once and for all."
Announcing the Government’s support in principle for the bill in September, Communities Minister Stephen Williams said: "Our private rental sector is a vital asset, providing a home to 9 million people across the country. So I’m determined to root out the minority of rogue landlords that give it a bad name.That’s why we’re backing Sarah Teather’s Bill to outlaw revenge evictions once and for all - ensuring tenants do not face the prospect of losing their home simply because they’ve asked for essential repairs to be made."