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Landlord body renews opposition to ‘revenge’ legislation

A landlord body which opposed last month’s failed attempt to introduce legislation outlawing so-called revenge evictions has reacted angrily to the news that another attempt will be made to introduce legislation early next year. As reported in LAT last week, four Liberal Democrat peers have tabled an amendment to the Deregulation Bill, which is currently making its way through Parliament. The amendment will be debated in mid-January, when peers return from the Christmas recess.

The Residential Landlords’ Association says consumer rights regulations already make revenge evictions illegal; in addition, guidance issued by the Competition and Markets Authority also makes the amendment “unnecessary” it says.

The RLA claims that the amendment would prevent landlords from regaining possession of their property when tenants don’t pay their rent or commit anti-social behaviour and claim for spurious repairs.

Last year, the Communities and Local Government Select Committee warned against such legislation as it would “stunt the market” and the association says the government agreed with this assessment. However, the government supported the private members’ bill on the subject which failed in the Commons 10 days ago.

“Rather than pile yet more regulations on the sector, what is needed is better enforcement of existing powers which hard pressed councils already find difficult to enforce. Tenants need better information about rights and responsibilities. That would give many the confidence to complain about a minority of landlords who have no place in [the] private rented sector” says RLA chairman Alan Ward.

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