The National Landlords’ Association claims that councils’ advice to tenants is wrong and that an “alarming number of private tenants are being told by their local council to ignore eviction notices served by their landlords”

They are being told to wait for bailiffs to turn up before moving out in order to qualify for rehousing support, according to new findings by the NLA*

According to the research results from the NLA survey 49 per cent, nearly half of tenants who’ve been served with a section 21 notice by their private landlord say they have been told to ignore it by their local council or the advice agencies such as Shelter or the Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB).

The NLA says these figures “shine a light on the scale of the issue, which was recently highlighted by the Telegraph, and has been exacerbated by the increasing use of private landlords by local authorities to discharge their housing duties.”

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The NLA thinks the advice is increasingly being offered because councils are refusing to accept tenants’ housing applications before an order for possession has been granted by a Court.

This action by councils is despite guidance from Central Government that confirms all housing applications should be accepted from the time notice is served on the tenant.

NLA Chairman Carolyn Uphill said:

“We’ve always known that tenants receive this kind of advice and it’s a huge problem because it damages the confidence of landlords who work in the community to home those who aren’t able to access social housing.

“There is no justification for prolonging the stress and uncertainty brought by a possession case. Advice like this creates unnecessary strain on tenants, landlords, and the Courts Service, which must first hear the case and order possession before Councils are prepared to carry out their statutory duties.

“Nobody should ever be told to wait until the bailiffs turn up; it makes an already unpleasant situation much worse for everyone and creates a vicious cycle of misery and spiralling costs for all involved”.

*NLA Quarterly Tenants Research Panel – Q4 2015 (950 respondents)

Government Local Authority Housing Statistics here

4 COMMENTS

  1. This is a nightmare for us landlords. Tenants seems to have more rights than the owner of a property, most of them don\’t want to rent privately and see this as a sure fire way to get a council property… with us landlords bearing the cost, and councils wonder why we don\’t want to let to them.

  2. The government\’s \”Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities\” (Department for Communities and Local Government 2006) clearly tells councils not to do this.

    Section 8.32 \”housing authorities should not adopt a general policy of accepting – or refusing to accept – applicants as homeless or threatened with homelessness when they are threatened with eviction but a court has not yet made an order for possession or issued a warrant of execution.\”

    and

    \”The Secretary of State considers that where a person applies for accommodation or assistance in obtaining accommodation, and:
    (a) the person is an assured shorthold tenant who has received proper notice in accordance with s.21 of the Housing Act 1988;
    (b) the housing authority is satisfied that the landlord intends to seek possession;
    and
    (c) there would be no defence to an application for a possession order;
    then it is unlikely to be reasonable for the applicant to continue to occupy the accommodation beyond the date given in the s.21 notice, unless the housing authority is taking steps to persuade the landlord to withdraw the notice or allow the tenant to continue to occupy the accommodation for a reasonable period to provide an opportunity for alternative accommodation to be found.\”

    Forcing the tenant to go through an eviction process under s21 will usually cost the tenant hundreds of pounds in court costs.

  3. We are experiencing this kind of council behaviour. Council people not only are advising tenants to wait for bailiffs but also suggesting to them they should avoid the notices. Further, sometimes tenants stop the rent during this process. Being letting agents its nightmare for us.

  4. We are having the exact problem at the moment. Section 21 served in early January. No rent has been paid since Nov 2015 and they have been told by homeless Shelter that we have served the notice wrong (which we haven\’t) and not to move.

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