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Farron welcomes Lib Dem minister's vow to outlaw revenge evictions

September 12, 2014 11:03 AM

 “RURAL HOUSING CRISIS IS NOT ABOUT BUILDINGS, IT’S ABOUT PEOPLE” SAYS FARRON AT AFFORDABLE HOUSING EVENT South lakes MP Tim Farron has today welcomed the news that Lib Dem minister Stephen Williams has backed a bill to outlaw "revenge evictions" - where renters are threatened with evictions after asking for improvements that guarantee them a safe and secure home to rent.

The Private Member's bill, which Sarah Teather MP is bringing before Parliament, now stands a higher chance of becoming law. It would stop a minority of rogue landlords who threaten to evict tenants simply for asking for essential repairs to be made, rather than make their properties safe and legal. Ministers backed the bill in principle, with the condition that the Bill only targets bad landlords and cannot be used by tenants to frustrate legitimate evictions. The Bill will extend the existing restrictions on a landlord's power to evict, where they don't 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.

Lib Dem Minister Stephen Williams said Sarah Teather's Bill would help root out a minority of spiteful landlords and ensure that hardworking tenants are not afraid to ask for better standards in their homes.

Commenting, Tim said: "This is significant news for renters and the majority of landlords who, like most of the population, are angered by the completely unacceptable practises a minority of rogue landlords. We must not tolerate this as a society - you wouldn't sell someone a car that was unsafe, and you certainly shouldn't evict someone for trying to make their house safe, whether that's the electricity, the gas or any environmental hazard.

So I am delighted that my colleague Stephen Williams has given his backing to Sarah's Bill. I would encourage all of my constituents who rent to find out what their rights are, so that they don't have to live in fear of eviction."

Accepting a petition from Shelter on revenge evictions, Minister for Communities 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."