Tenants of repossessed landlords to get two-month breathing space

Nia Williams

August 21, 2009

Under new proposals announced by Housing Minister John Healey, people renting from landlords who fail to inform banks they are letting out their property will be allowed to stay in the home for two months after the house is repossessed.

Tenants currently face immediate eviction if the bank takes ownership of the property.

Many homeowners decide not to inform their lender when letting out their property to keep down the interest rate on their repayments.

The Government estimates that up to 3,000 tenants could be evicted in this way this year, after seeing an increase in requests for help with this matter in its advice centres.

Despite acting on behalf of landlords, Landlord Assist supports this view in the interest of fairness to the tenant.

Graham Kinnear, Managing Director of Landlord Assist, says: “It is wrong to think that through no fault of their own, tenants could potentially find themselves homeless without any prior warning due to their landlord’s mortgage arrears. By extending the notice period to two months it provides tenants with breathing space and time to find alternative accommodation.”

Stephen Parry, Director of Landlord Assist, says: “Provided the tenant complies with the terms of the lease, the landlord is obliged to give at least two months notice that they wish the tenant to leave. It is therefore not unreasonable to suggest that a similar layer of protection should be provided to the tenant when landlords have their properties repossessed.”

Over the last 12 months, Landlord Assist has seen a 240% increase in the number of tenant eviction cases it has undertaken whereby the primary reasons for eviction were either rent arrears or anti-social behaviour. Landlord Assist believes that the law should be imposed not only to allow landlords to quickly recover property from tenants who will not pay their rent, but also to give two months grace for tenants who have complied with the lease in its entirety.

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