Vast majority of tenants unaware of new legal protections

Barely one in ten tenants are aware of a new law, introduced at the beginning of the month, which aims to end so-called revenge evictions.

Research by the National Landlords Association (NLA) found that only 12 per cent of those it surveyed knew about the new legislation.

The new rules, which have been brought in as part of the Deregulation Act, will prevent landlords from evicting tenants to avoid addressing a legitimate complaint about the state of the property.

Richard Lambert, the NLA’s chief executive, said: “These kinds of evictions are extremely rare but we have to make sure that complaints by tenants don’t just get lost in the system, regardless of whether they’re legitimate or not.

“The majority of landlords only choose to end a tenancy if it’s absolutely necessary, so we have to make sure that the system isn’t abused by those simply trying to prolong the evictions process.

“We all know that local councils are under-resourced but housing problems must take priority. If a tenant complains about a potentially hazardous issue then both they and their landlord should have a clear expectation of how and when the council will deal with it.

“If councils fail to act on complaints then it will undermine the law and tenants’ confidence in a system that’s supposed to protect them.”

Research carried out by the charity Shelter last year suggested that more than 200,000 tenants had been evicted over a 12 month period, having previously asked their landlord to fix a problem.

The Citizens Advice Bureau said the new laws would afford tenants greater protection, but some campaign groups have claimed the changes don’t go far enough.

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