Some 88 per cent of tenants say they are unaware of the new law introduced this week intended to protect them from so called retaliatory or revenge evictions.
The new law, introduced as part of the Deregulation Act, stops agents or landlords ending a tenancy using a Section 21 or ‘no fault’ notice if they fail to address a complaint about the state of repair of the property that is made by their tenant to the local authority.
The National Landlords Association's survey - which also shows only nine per cent of tenants feel they have in the past been subject to a revenge eviction conducted after they requested repairs - has prompted the organisation to call on councils to spell out how they are going to deal with complaints under the new rules.
“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" says Richard Lambert, chief executive officer of the National Landlords Association.
He says under-resourced councils that fail to act upon complaints "will undermine the law and tenants’ confidence in a system that’s supposed to protect them”.