Posted by Natalie Birrell (PR Consultant),
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End of the road for revenge eviction bill
A bill which sought to protect tenants from rogue landlords and so-called ‘revenge evictions’ has failed to pass in the House of Commons.
The proposed legislation, introduced by Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather, had previously received support from the Government.
However, at the second reading last month, there was a minimal show of support and the debate was filibustered by two Conservative backbenchers.
If passed, the Private Members’ Bill would have provided greater protection for tenants facing eviction for complaining about issues such as the condition of a property, as well as matters relating to health and safety.
Tenants would have been granted legal protection once they’d spoken to their council to confirm a health and safety issue – enabling them to complain to their landlord free of undue reprisal.
Around 213,000 tenants are evicted every year because they complain to their landlords, according to Shelter, the housing charity.
Earlier this month, a protest group of around 1,000 people demonstrated outside Parliament to convince MPs to vote for the bill. However, their pleas fell on flat ears as only 60 showed up, short of the 100 required to sign the bill into legislation.
Responding to the news, Alex Hilton, director of Generation Rent, said: “Bad landlords now remain free to turf out tenants in awful conditions and tenants will continue to put up with mould, damp and faulty wiring for fear of eviction.
“This is an outrageous, feudal situation that is untenable. If MPs now don’t reincarnate these provisions in the Consumer Rights Bill we will know they are prepared to throw renters to the wolves.”
However, the National Landlords Association (NLA) said they believed MPs shared their reservations about the bill – with many believing that the bill could create loopholes for tenants.
Richard Lambert, the NLA’s chief executive, said: “The NLA has always been concerned that there is not the weight of evidence to justify the need for additional legislation.
“It seems the majority of MPs share these reservations given that so few were present to vote for it.”
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