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Citizens Advice claims 47% surge in what it calls "illegal evictions"

Citizens Advice claims that 2,087 people asked it for help after being threatened with what it describes as ‘illegal eviction’ in the year to March 2016, a 47 per cent rise in 12 months.

The charity says it has heard from people whose landlords tried to evict them for missing a single rent payment, changed the locks without warning, and in some cases seized their belongings.

CA says it welcomes the creation of a new database of landlords who have broken the law, which will be available to councils in England from October; it is calling for the database to also be made available to tenants. 

The Renters’ Rights Bill, which passed Second Reading in the House of Lords on June 10, would give people in England the right to see if their landlord is on the database.

“It’s a crime to throw people out of their homes without a court order, but more and more people are coming to Citizens Advice with this problem. The new database is a positive step which will help councils in England keep track of landlords who’ve broken the law. But unless tenants can check who’s on it, it will be continue to be hard for them to know which landlords to avoid. It’s crucial tenants are given access to this list” says Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice.

The Welsh Government is introducing a separate licensing and registration system along with a database which will allow tenants to check online whether their property is registered and has a landlord with a valid licence.

  • Property  Guru

    This is nothing new, it’s more like it more brought to light yet again. The issue is landlords don't know their rights and don't operate correctly then becomes desperate as the system fails them. Some of those that are illegal evictions will be landlords in desperate need to pay their own mortgages, regardless of opinion or rights, they are desperate to pay their own mortgages and desperate landlords do desperate things. I 100% agree that to illegally evict is wrong and the law should be followed, but when a tenants acts wrong, doesn't pay, creates damage etc then why is that not made criminal too. Why can a tenant damage a property and not get arrested? why can a tenant live for free and make a landlord lose their home or damage their credit rating etc and still go unpunished. Why can we not look at every case simply and with common sense. Have an eviction judge who take the information and deals with it instantly. Make the judge visit the property, (why not we pay £300) see the issues from the tenants and landlords point of view and deal instantly, if it’s a damaging tenant then evict, if its landlord the give him correctional warning and 7 days to fix or pay. Have them judges present to see what is really going on.
    How many people are living in disrepair, living like animals, living rent free, illegally evicted, we can sort all these issues and may even save lives and prevent people from continuing to abuse the system for months even years. Remember this happens so often there is no reason why there cannot be a specific team that can deal with it, instantly, save agony, save money, save time and most of all save lives.
    Why don’t we do it ?? After all its common sense.
    Don’t fix the system, start again simplest.

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    As always, unscrupulous landlords should be dealt with appropriately. However, CAB advertising a 47% rise in illegal evictions is very misleading. For sure this may be true, but set against the context of CAB's "Current Campaigns". You only have to visit their website to see that top of the list of their current campaigns is "Settle and Safe: a renter's right" - including "Complain about your landlord or letting agent". I suspect that this campaign was not so prominent (if at all) in January 2015.
    The debate about the landlord's database is a whole different topic. It's pretty rich that local authorities want to keep track of landlords who have broken the law - the same councils that were telling tenants to illegally remain in their property, (often not paying rent), forcing good and ethical landlords to apply to the courts to obtain possession - just so the local authorities could then tick the "urgent housing need" box on their internal housing systems.
    What would be really useful for all the great law abiding landlords, is an online list of tenants (with their aliases) who have trashed previous homes, not paid rent, have unsatisfied CCJs etc etc. That would save us all a lot of time and MONEY.
    Right - that's me off the soap box.

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    My thoughts exactly a database of Rogue tenants would be ideal. We are sick of tenants working the system costing good landlords a lot of time and money.

     
  • Property  Guru

    Great Point, and while we are on this topic, .
    How many millions is the government saving on its debt by NOT re-housing and allowing, no forcing private landlords to hold onto the rental debt, forcing landlords to have the problem and using the system against the tenants. Remember local government offices are telling tenants to stay in their homes untill the bailiff arrives, Jesus think of the children awaking to that morning. And these same tenants are being told that if they leave earlier they are making themselves homeless and the local authority wont have to help them. What is this world coming to and why, lets be honest like most things, saves money for our government debt, increases revenue for our government (court costs gone up) all at the same time as more homeless and cut backs. Its not about people its all about money. Crazy crazy world.

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    Don't forget the eviction system has not only risen in costs to landlords the tame frame has expanded so that landlord debt in made much higher because our elected dictatorship (the government) says that tenants who don't pay have rights of occupation! What a load of sphericals.

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