Over the past 12 months Shelter UK has been inundated with private tenants who face homelessness after their landlord’s property has been repossessed during the credit crunch. Tenants currently have no legal rights when a landlords residence is repossessed, leading to many tenants losing the roof over their head with no prior notice when the bailiffs knock on the door.
With many tenants in the private rented sector now at risk of losing their homes, over 100 MPs have signed an Early Day Motion calling for changes to the law to avoid a potential crisis across the UK. The law is now going to be changed to help protect private tenants, Shelter has warned the Government that this action must be put in place today with so many people currently experiencing the backlash from the credit crunch. In many cases across the UK, tenants have returned home from work to find their belongings on the street and the locks changed on their accommodation.
Chief Executive of Shelter, Sam Younger, said –
With many landlords facing repossession in the current climate, tenants have been coming to our advice services across the country desperately needing protection against sudden eviction. In many cases they knew nothing about it until the very last minute and have nowhere to turn. We hope the new legislation will be implemented soon so that it can start making a real difference on the ground. We very much welcome this announcement as Shelter has been calling on the Government to introduce more effective regulation of landlords.
Effective regulation would help cut down on landlord abuses in the private rented sector, provide greater protection for tenants and give tenants the right to complain about landlords. We know many landlords are individual buy-to-let investors or people who simply can’t sell their property and therefore rent it out. But its still important they realise that being a landlord is a huge responsibility and not something to be undertaken lightly. At present the rules are heavily weighted against the tenant, but new robust regulation would mean landlords who flout their responsibilities would be banned from operating in the future.
The Government’s latest action to try and help stop these evictions come in response to tireless campaigning from Shelter, Crisis, Citizens Advice and the Chartered Institute of Housing. Warnings need to be given to tenants when their landlord has defaulted on mortgage payments, as tenants should not face instant eviction through no fault of their own.