This morning, the local community in Herne Hill stopped bailiffs from evicting a 69-year-old private tenant from her home of seven years.
Her landlord, Manaquel, served her with a no-fault eviction notice which gave her no option but to move out or sit and wait to be forced out by the bailiffs.
After a notice to quit, a possession order, and a warrant from the court, the bailiffs arrived today at 9:30 to be met by 20 neighbours and local campaigners who sent them on their way.
It’s a small victory against a mammoth property company with millions of pounds behind them. The community will keep fighting but the odds are stacked against the tenant – the landlord goes back to the courts for another warrant, unless they suddenly decide that they want to keep good tenants.
Her home is loved and cared for – by her. All the effort she has put into making repairs and improving the floors has been rendered worthless by the Section 21 notice.
Why should tenants improve their home if their landlord will take one look at it and decide they could get a higher rent from someone else?
Our director, Betsy Dillner is giving evidence this afternoon to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee, and will tell its members that eviction law has to change.
We’re calling for conditions on the use of Section 21. If a landlord really, really wants to take their property back from a blameless tenant – and we accept that there are circumstances where they might – they need to compensate the tenant for the cost of moving. They should also be prevented from raising the rent by more than, say, inflation.
The thing is, most landlords want long term tenants anyway. This change to the law won’t be difficult for landlords to abide with, but it would mean that those tenants who suddenly find themselves with only two months to find a new home would have much less to worry about. And because it will deter opportunistic landlords from chucking tenants out, fewer will find themselves in that position.
Please join our call for fairer tenancies – sign our petition here: