Remember the two Conservative MPs who filibustered an attempt to protect tenants from 'revenge evictions' by landlords? Well it sucks to be them, because the measures have been added to a bill just passing through the final stages of the Lords.
At Generation Rent's conference on Wednesday, the Lib Dem Communities Minister Stephen Williams told the audience that retaliatory evictions would be outlawed by the end of this Parliament (30 March). It's being tabled as an amendment to the Deregulation Bill (some may see irony in this, but one of the bill's purposes is to "make provision about the exercise of regulatory functions").
Retaliatory evictions happen when landlords turf out their tenants for the heinous crime of asking that repairs be made. The current system of 'no fault' evictions means that tenants have no recourse whatsoever if a landlord decides to end a tenancy — sometimes because the landlord wants to put the rent up, sometimes because they want a tenant who will quietly suffer terrible conditions.
'No fault' eviction notices won't be able to be served within six months of a request for repairs, and if a tenant can prove they made a complaint about repairs to either the landlord or local council, any 'no fault' eviction notice served afterwards is invalid. There are protections for landlords (tenants who make spurious complaints or treat the property like a craphole forfeit their rights) though, frankly, this is a mere step towards rebalancing the relationship between tenant and landlord.
The Deregulation Bill is currently at the report stage in the House of Lords. It's due for a final reading and consideration of amendments, then it goes to the Queen for assent. Fingers crossed nothing goes wrong this time.