Retaliatory Eviction Legislation Fails In Commons But Is Re-Introduced In The Lords

Followers of our blogs and attendees of our seminars will know that Sarah Teacher of the Liberal Democrats sought to introduce legislation designed to prevent landlords obtaining a Possession Order following the service of a Section 21 Housing Act 1988 Notice as a retaliatory response to the tenant complaining about disrepair.

Her proposals in the Tenancies (Reform) Bill provided for landlords not being able to serve an effective Section 21 Notice within six months of a Local Authority serving an Improvement or Hazard Awareness Notice or the landlord serving a Section 21 Notice in response to a legitimate written complaint by the tenant about the state of the property under Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.

On the second reading in the House of Commons on the 28th November 2014, two back benchers Philip Davies and Christopher Chote “talked out” the Bill ensuring it was opposed whilst there were not sufficient MPs in the Chamber to enable a closure motion to be brought. It appeared therefore that these proposals were not going to progress further.

Any joy however is very short lived as a similar proposal has now been tabled by the Liberal Democrats to amend the Deregulation Bill due to go before the House of Lords in January 2015. The amendments provide that a Notice under Section 21 will be invalid if before the Notice was given, the tenant has made a “relevant complaint” in relation to the state of the property or to the relevant Local Authority and the Local Authority has served a Notice.

It will be a defence to Section 21 proceedings if the letter of complaint was made by the tenant prior to the service of the Section 21 Notice and the Local Authority is still considering whether to inspect the property, has decided to inspect the property but has not carried out the inspection or has not yet decided after inspection to serve a Notice.

The intention is that Local Authorities should take an active role in assessing whether or not a property is suffering from a disrepair following a legitimate complaint from the tenant.

We will keep you advised as to developments.

If you have any queries concerning the matters raised please contact
Jeremy Teall, Partner and Housing Management Team Leader on
020 8567 3477 or e-mail