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Revenge eviction bill fails, but wins wide backingThe private members' bill to outlaw so-called revenge evictions has, as predicted, failed to make progress in the Commons - but it still won huge cross-party support, indicating legislation may eventually on this subject.

PMBs rarely progress beyond the second reading stage, which was where Sarah Teather's Tenancies (Reforms) Bill came to a halt on Friday.

The bill was 'talked out' - filibustered, in other words - by two Conservative MPs who are, according to some blogs, both landlords.

The actions of Conservative backbenchers Christopher Chope and Philip Davies came despite the fact that (unusually for a private members' bill) the government had officially supported the measure.

Richard Lambert, chief executive officer at the National Landlords Association, says: Retaliatory eviction, if and where it does happen, is an unacceptable and completely unprofessional response. Tenants should be able to raise issues with their landlords without the fear of losing their home he says.

However, he believes Teather's Bill was a response to the fear of it, rather than the reality.

Even so, it won the support of a large number of MPs from across the Commons before it was talked out. Here is a flavour of the debate:

Nick de Bois (Conservative, Enfield): I support the Bill. .... Will the honourable Lady acknowledge that not all landlords are bad landlords, and that there are many good ones providing a good service However, there are many rogues, and I welcome the fact that she is trying to deal with that issue.

Jeremy Corbyn (Labour, Islington North): Not only that there is a big increase in the number of private sector tenants across the whole country, and with that an increase in concerns, but that important groups such as Generation Rent are helping to put forward a good, sensible case for giving real security and protection, especially as it is likely that, in the very near future, almost a quarter of the UK population will be living in the private rented sector

Bob Blackman (Conservative, Harrow East): It may seem strange to some of my colleagues that I, as a free-marketeer, should wish to interfere in a marketthe private sector housing market is clearly a marketbut I support the Bill, and for several reasons. .... The Bill is much needed and there is a strong case for it. The clear issue is to ensure that tenants have rights and that landlords also have protections. My strong view is that bad tenants will not be protected by this legislative change and that good landlords have nothing to fear from itthose two things come together.

Caroline Lucas (Brighton Pavilion, Green): Landlords hold all the cards. They wield unreasonable power, and the vast majority of landlords who are reasonable and fair lose out because of an immoral, irresponsible and greedy minority who give all of them a bad name. It is that imbalance of power that I hope we can end today.

Stephen Williams, parliamentary under-secretary of state at DCLG: An extrapolation from a YouGov survey of more than 4,500 private renters carried out earlier this year found that 480,000 tenants had either not asked for a repair to be carried out or had not challenged a rent increase because they were concerned about being evicted. Some 80,000 tenants had actually been evicted because they had asked for a repair to be carried out. Many of those tenants will have children and partners, so we estimate that about 213,000 people are actually affected by retaliatory eviction every year. There may be 213,000 people affected by the issue we are discussing today. The Government support the Bill in principle. We want the Bill to be balanced. We do not want tenants to be able to make vexatious complaints and we do not want to bring in excessive regulation. We wish to give the Bill a Second Reading and for it to proceed to Committee, where some issues will need to be addressed.


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