“Revenge evictions” by landlords were finally banned on 1 October, after a long campaign by the Liberal Democrats in Parliament.
A change in the law makes any eviction illegal if it comes after the tenant has made a complaint about housing conditions, which the landlord did not respond to satisfactorily, and then complained to the Council. Around 200,000 renters have faced this type of ‘revenge’ eviction every year, according to research by Shelter.
Lib Dems in Parliament started the campaign to ban these types of evictions back in 2014, with MPs Sarah Teather and Tim Farron leading a campaign, but sadly it was prevented from coming to a vote by two Conservative MPs. However, Liberal Democrat members of the House of Lords were successfully able to get this reform into another law in March.
Local Lib Dem campaigner Anthony Fairclough said:
"So many people in Merton have to rent. When I rented in Wimbledon, there was always the fear that the landlord would decide to ask us to leave or not renew our lease - and so nagging them to sort out problems seemed a bit risky. Everyone deserves a decent home, this change in the law just makes that a bit easier to achieve.
"However, we must also make sure that private renters are aware of their rights, and that Merton Council supports them - as this law is only effective if a complaint has been made to the Council."
Lib Dem Leader Tim Farron has said, “We must not tolerate this as a society – everyone deserves to have a safe place to live and evicting a family because they’ve asked for an electricity, gas or environmental hazard to be addressed is outrageous.”