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New bill to stop unjust evictions

July 1, 2014 10:36 AM

Tim in WestminsterSarah Teather, MP for Brent Central, is introducing a new bill in the House of Commons to prevent evictions when tenants complain about faults or ask for repairs. South Lakes MP and President of the Liberal Democrats Tim Farron has today announced his support for the bill.

Sarah, who won a top spot in this year's private members' ballot, has chosen to bring forward a bill which will dramatically improve the rules around unfair evictions. The bill will prevent evictions within six months of a tenant requesting a repair job- stopping so-called 'retaliatory evictions', where a landlord simply gets rid of a tenant rather than potentially paying for an expensive repair job.

The measures, which supporters are hoping will be supported by the Government, will provide security for hundreds of thousands of private renters-giving them the comfort of knowing that they can work together with landlords to improve the safety of their own homes.

Currently, the law allows evictions to take place after a tenant's initial agreed tenancy period expires-which can be as little as six months. Research from the housing charity Shelter shows that one in eight tenants have not asked for repairs to be carried out in their home, or challenged a rent increase in the last year because they fear eviction. One in 33 tenants (3 per cent) have been evicted, served with notice or threatened with eviction in the past five years because they complained to their local council or their landlord about a problem in their home.

Commenting on Sarah's bill, Tim said: "Government cannot wash its hands of tackling the housing crisis-and for too many people, the housing crisis looks like this: you complain about the mould and instead you get an eviction notice. And people don't have a choice about renting because of the expense of buying a house.

"Consumer power in an undersupplied market is minimal. Creating fairer rules around evictions will break the silence that traps too many renters from getting the home improvements they need, making the system work better for both landlords and tenants.

"I am delighted that Sarah Teather's bill will make renting fairer for landlords and tenants, preventing homelessness and making the sector fit for purpose. It will go a long way to creating a fair society and stronger economy."