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Research Finds Almost Half of Tenants Who Complain About Landlords Are Subjected to Retaliatory Evictions.

Citizens Advice have recently published a report unveiling the extent of so-called ‘retaliatory evictions’ within the private rental sector.

In their report, Touch and go: how to protect private renters from retaliatory eviction in England, Citizens Advice have found that tenants in England who submit formal complaints about their landlords have a 46 per cent chance of being issued with a 'no fault eviction' (section 21) notice within six months of complaining.

Citizens Advice found that, compared to those who had not complained about their landlord, those tenants in England who had received a section 21 notice were:

  • More than twice as likely to have complained to their landlord in the previous six months;
  • Five times more likely to have complained to their local authority prior to their notice being issued; and
  • Eight times more likely to have complained to an independent redress scheme.

In addition to this, research conducted by Citizens Advice has revealed that:

  • Only 10 per cent of Environmental Health Officers have reported a reduction in the number of retaliatory evictions since the introduction of the Deregulation Act 2015, which was introduced with the aim of ending retaliatory evictions;
  • Local authorities rarely serve the notices required to protect tenants due to a lack of resources and a preference for informal negotiation; and
  • The threshold for protection is unreasonably high and the process to obtain protection is lengthy and complicated.

In light of their findings, Citizens Advice has raised concerns that the Deregulation Act 2015 has not been effective and has called for laws around tenant security to be significantly strengthened.

Commenting on their report, Citizens Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy said:

"Our report shows that well-intentioned laws created to put an end to revenge evictions have not worked, and a new fix is needed. There are serious question marks over the existence of a power that allows landlords to unilaterally evict tenants without reason - known as section 21.While government plans for minimum three-year tenancies is a step in the right direction, these changes must be strong enough to genuinely prevent revenge evictions once and for all."

Tagged In

Outside NI, Regulation, Private Tenancies, Landlord

This article was written on 29 August 2018. It should not be relied on as a statement of the current law or policy position. For help with housing issues please contact our helpline on 028 9024 5640 or use our online chat service at www.housingadviceNI.org.