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Posted on March 16th 2015 by admin-movingin

Over 200,000 affected by retaliatory evictions each year, claims Government

Over 200,000 people are affected by retaliatory evictions every year, the Government has said.

Revenge evictions are to be tackled in a new law which the Government expects to come into force on October 1.

The new law is also set to make it illegal to evict tenants where there is no Energy Performance Certificate and/or no Gas Safety Certificate.

The Government is also planning to quadruple fines for housing offences such as illegal evictions where the current fine is less than £5,000.

It will remove the current £5,000 limit altogether – meaning that the offender will be liable to a potentially unlimited fine.

It made the statements in a response which has finally been published to its consultation on the private rented sector.

Its paper, Review of Property Conditions in the Private Rented Sector was published last February, with the consultation closing at the end of last March.

The response was published on Friday, amid a flurry of other activity on the private rented sector.

The Government says that the discussion paper had 5,103 responses, but of these 4,804 were part of a write-in campaign organised by a housing charity.

Of the remaining 299 responses, just 37 were from landlords, letting agents and representative bodies.

One of the issues that the Government specifically consulted on was retaliatory evictions – when a tenant who has complained about the state of a property is evicted.

In its response, the Government says: “Retaliatory eviction is wrong and its continued practice is unacceptable.

“No tenant should face eviction because they have made a legitimate complaint about the condition of their home to the landlord.”

The Government said that “it is likely that over 200,000 people are actually affected by retaliatory eviction every year”.

An amendment to the Deregulation Bill will protect tenants against retaliatory eviction where they have raised a complaint about the condition of the property and a local authority has issued an improvement notice.

In these circumstances, it would not be possible to evict a tenant using a Section 21 notice.

In addition, the amendment says that where a landlord has failed to comply with certain legal obligation, the tenant cannot be evicted.

In its response, the Government says: “We envisage that this will apply to Energy Performance Certificates and Gas Safety Certifications. The restriction on the service of an eviction notice would be lifted as soon as these documents are provided.”

The Government response also details its plans to clamp down on selective licensing schemes by amending the General Approval.