An estimated nine million people in the UK private rental sector could receive additional protection from their landlordís in the event that they attempt to evict them, following the successful passage of a private memberís bill through government.
The new laws will prevent landlords from being able to evict their tenants unless they can concretely prove that they are doing so on legitimate and reasonable grounds, and will seek to address the reason wave of ërevengeí evictions which has blighted the private rental sector in recent times.
With the property market seemingly out of control at present and spiralling prices isolating a generation from entering onto the housing ladder, the significance of improving the tenancy landscape in the country has arguably become of paramount importance.
And the new laws will aim to ensure that individuals who lodge reasonable complains to their landlords about broken appliances, failing roofs and boiler malfunctions can do so whilst being able to rest assure that they are not at risk of being subjected to vindictive and spiteful evictions from their landholders.
However, the official introduction of the laws has yet to be confirmed and it is currently unclear whether they will be enacted before or after the 2015 General Election.
Housing charity group Shelter have praised the new laws for empowering tenants again and equipping them sufficiently enough to be able to ensure they are serviced properly by their landlords and are able to maintain a degree of security in their housing situations.
The charity estimated that over 200,000 unlucky individuals were subjected to the alleged ìrevengeî evictions in 2013, highlighting the scale of the problem and the urgency needed to address it.
The government has confirmed that it will support and pass through the private memberís bill pushed for by Lib Dem MP, Sarah Teather, on the condition that it solely targets rogue landlords and has no affect on reasonable and legitimate evictions.
ëOutlaw revenge evictions- once and for allí
The government outlined that the private b ill is set to receive its secondary reading on the 28th of November 2014, though it will need to be fast-tracked and pushed for directly by parliamentary parties in order to be officially introduced prior to the 2015 General Election.
Under the laws, tenants would be able to attain legal protection from their landlords by making a phone call to their local council in cases where they are seeking to complain about a malfunction within their home, who will then send in a representative to confirm the problem and legitimise the grounds for complaint.
Upon confirmation of the legitimacy of their health and safety grievances, the tenant will then be able to lodge a complaint to a landlord directly safe in the knowledge that they are doing so without being at any risk of being evicted in the future.
The Minister for Communities, Stephen Williams, has called on the government to redouble their efforts for protecting tenants, highlighting his desire 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”.
This stance was reiterated by Shelterís chief executive Campbell Robb, who argued that establishing an end to these revenge evictions will do so much to improving the security of families in the private rental sector.
“Nobody should have to raise their children in a place where their health and well-being are at risk, let alone live in fear of being thrown out simply for complaining about a problem in their home,” said Robb.