Retaliatory eviction: New government policy statement on the Deregulation Bill

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The Government has released a new policy statement on changes to the Deregulation Bill regarding the eviction of tenants. You can read the policy statement in full on the government website, but the changes have been summarised by the Department for Communities and Local Government as follows:

Deregulation Bill

 "The amendent covers four areas and will:

  • Protect tenants against the practice of retaliatory eviction where they have raised a legitimate complaint about the condition of the property and a Local Authority has issued a notice confirming that the repair needs to be carried out to avoid a risk to health and safety (Improvement Notice or Notice of Emergency Remedial Action);
  • Ensure that tenants are always given at least two months’ notice before they have to move out of their home. The purpose of this measure is to deal with an approach adopted by a small minority of landlords of serving an eviction notice at the start of a tenancy, which can result in a tenant having to vacate a property with virtually no notice
  • Make the eviction process more straightforward for landlords in situations where the tenant should be evicted, for example, because of non-payment of rent or anti-social behaviour through the introduction of a prescribed form notice to reduce errors and removing the need for a landlord to specify the exact date a tenancy comes to an end while retaining the requirement to give two months’ notice;
  • Provide that where a landlord has failed to comply with certain legal obligations, the tenant cannot be evicted. We envisage this will apply to Energy Performance Certificates and Gas Safety Certificates. This restriction on the service of an eviction notice would be lifted as soon as these documents are provided."

The Deregulation Bill is expected to be passed in the coming weeks and will also clarify issues in tenancy deposit protection law. CEO Steve Harriott explains those changes in more detail here. 




Posted by Chris Kendall on 17 February 2015

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