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Latest News — Revenge Eviction

Revenge Eviction

Do you know the law relating to Revenge Eviction?

The Deregulation Act 2015 (the Act) came into force on the 1st October 2015 and applies to all new assured shorthold tenancies that start on or after 1 October 2015. Amongst other reforms, the Act seeks to protect tenants from eviction if they make a legitimate complaint to a private landlord about repairs or poor conditions of the property.

Despite the Act coming into force more than one year ago, many tenants and landlords are still not aware that so called ‘revenge eviction’ or ‘retaliation eviction’ is unlawful.

 

So what is revenge eviction?

A revenge eviction is a term used to describe a situation whereby a landlord serves a tenant with a Section 21 notice to quit the tenancy, in response to a legitimate complaint from the tenant to carry out repairs or rectify poor conditions of the property.

 

The New Rules

Under the Act, if a landlord serves a Section 21 Notice following a complaint about repairs or the conditions of the property, the court can refuse to make a possession order in the following circumstances:

  • A tenant has complained to the landlord or letting agent in writing (by letter or email)
  • A landlord has issued a section 21 notice after the tenant complained
  • A tenant has complained to the local council because the landlord didn't take steps to fix the problem
  • The council has sent the landlord a notice telling them to make improvements or that the council will carry out emergency work (a Notice of improvement or a Remedial Action Notice).

 

Other legal changes from 1 October 2015

Section 21 notices can also be invalid if a landlord doesn't follow certain rules about:

  • tenancy deposit protection
  • gas safety
  • providing you with information about your tenancy

The new rules do not apply to Section 8 Notices for breach of the tenancy, although it may be possible for a tenant in those circumstances to bring a counterclaim for damages relating to the disrepair.

Housing law can be complex and it is imperative to make sure things are done correctly. That’s why at Askews, whether you are a landlord or a tenant, we have solicitors on hand who can offer advice and assistance to ensure you don’t get caught out.

For more information or to speak to someone please call us on 01642 475252 or send us a message via our enquiry form.