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MP's bid to make landlords pay tenants' moving costs rejected

natalie elphicke

Conservative MP Natalie Elphicke failed to convince the government to include relocation payments for tenants and to restrict tenancy grounds in its Renters (Reform) Bill.

The MP for Dover had introduced an amendment to require a landlord to pay a relocation payment to the tenant if they were evicted within two years of the start of the tenancy, other than for exemptions such as anti-social or criminal behaviour.

She pointed out that tenants had to spend between £700 and £1,700 to move, which were unrecoverable costs and added extra strain.

During the Commons debate, she also tried to amend ground 12 possession, where a tenant has breached a term of their tenancy conditions.

Elphicke cited examples where tenants could be evicted for trivial matters such as hanging out washing outside or displaying a poster on the wall with blue tac – conditions that had been written into existing tenancy agreements by letting agents who were members of professional bodies.

The MP hoped to make ground 12 only for material breaches that impacted the wellbeing of tenants or neighbours or could cause material damage beyond that covered by a tenancy deposit.


She said: “To allow ground 12 unamended is to invite every landlord to invoke spurious and unfair reasons for evictions – apparently not the intention of the Bill.”

Housing Minister Jacob Young said landlords shouldn’t pay compensation to tenants when they had a legitimate reason to evict and that those looking to move into or sell their property or dealing with a tenant with rent arrears could also find themselves in financial difficulties.

He said amending ground 12 could have adverse consequences. “Significant breaches of an agreement such as sub-letting may not lead to an eviction if they were proven not to have a material impact on other housemates,” added Young.


Renters reform bill