The ban on most evictions was lifted this week and the notice period on Section 21 evictions has been reduced from 6 months to 4 months. But if your landlord has failed to provide you with certain documents you could be protected from eviction - up to three quarters of renters, according to our latest research.
Our new research has also revealed the lack of knowledge about rights among private renters, which the first Renters' Rights Awareness Week, taking place on 14-20 June, aims to change.Read more
Although landlords don't need a reason to evict you in England and Wales, they must still follow certain rules. If you don't move out after your notice period ends, the landlord must apply for a possession order in court, then only bailiffs appointed by the court can physically remove you from your home.
If the landlord tries to evict you themselves, it's a criminal offence under the 1977 Protection from Eviction Act. That includes changing the locks, dumping your belongings outside, cutting off the electricity or water supply and other types of harassment. The penalties include paying back up to a year's rent.Read more
After six months of no evictions taking place at all, courts have reopened and landlords can resume the legal process of evicting their tenants.
Despite the government's insistence that "the most egregious" cases will be prioritised, tenants can still be booted out without a reason, with no ability to appeal it and only six weeks' grace if they face "extreme hardship".
This is possible because of Section 21, the law that the government promised to abolish last year. Today it is exactly one year since the government closed it's consultation on proposals to change the law, and we are still waiting for it to publish the Renters Reform Bill to make it all happen. Join our campaign to get Section 21 scrapped.
This week we launched the End Unfair Evictions coalition with ACORN, London Renters Union, and New Economics Foundation. We're calling for an end to Section 21, which allows landlords to evict tenants without needing a reason.
One reason we're doing is that existing protections are not working in practice.
Back in 2014/15, we fought a hard campaign alongside Shelter, GMB Young London and others to give tenants basic protection from eviction when they complained about their landlord.
The resulting measures in the Deregulation Act 2015 stopped landlords from serving a Section 21 eviction notice to tenants if the council had found hazards in the property and served an appropriate improvement notice on the owner. This protection lasted for 6 months and was meant to give tenants more confidence in getting their landlord to fix health and safety problems, because the landlord can no longer simply retaliate by kicking them out.Read more
Landlords get to ask tenants for a reference, but there's no way we can check what a prospective landlord is like. That's why we've long been calling for a central database that names and shames criminal landlords.
From today we've got one. But there's a catch: only local councils can access it.Read more
Local council elections are taking place in London in a few months. And just like the 2016 Mayoral race, these contests will be dominated by the city's housing crisis. From Haringey to Kensington and Chelsea, Londoners are looking for secure and affordable homes, and asking their councils to respond.Read more
Today the government announced a raft of measures that will be in the Housing Bill that being is being prepared for Parliament later this year.
Sadly much of the focus was on the extension of the duty to all landlords to check the immigration status of their tenants. We’ve already expressed our opposition to this policy elsewhere, but it is particularly galling that this is being taken forward when there has been no public analysis of the West Midlands ‘pilot scheme’, and other groups have seen cases of it increasing discrimination in lettings.
Despite this policy dominating the headlines, though, the Department for Communities and Local Government has also announced more welcome plans to improve the systems for tackling rogue landlords.Read more
Bournemouth Borough Council is to debate on Monday a plan to buy up properties in the town to house homeless families - a practice that is already happening in the London boroughs of Enfield and Westminster.
Local authorities have a statutory duty to house homeless people in temporary and emergency accommodation. Because they have no available properties of their own they often have to turn to bed and breakfasts to put families up. Councillor Robert Lawton explains:
"It will help us to reduce costs, for example, avoiding the use of expensive B&B accommodation. By owning the properties, it would mean that the council would be able to ensure the properties are good quality and well managed. In the longer term, any income generated and increase in property values would come back to the council to help fund additional services for vulnerable people."Read more
Our friends at Kensington and Chelsea Social Council are undertaking a project to look at the issues affecting private tenants in the borough - particularly in the clear lack of affordable housing in the private sector. Part of this is an online survey that they're asking all private renters in the area to complete.
In the run-up to the London Mayoral elections, work like this is vital to help support renters across the capital and make sure no one is priced out of London - wherever they live or work.Read more