New Section 21 legislation designed to help protect private renters from rogue landlords isn’t working, claim MPs and housing lawyers.
In 2015 the law in England changed to make “revenge evictions” illegal, which applies to rental agreements signed since 1st October 2015.
Faulty electrics, damp and broken boilers that don’t get fixed are all officially classed as category one hazards which pose a risk to health. However despite the changes, figures recently gathered by Radio 1 Newsbeat through Freedom of Information requests show that more than half of local councils across England haven’t used these powers.
Tenants must make any complaints to a landlord in writing before they are served with a Section 21 eviction notice. Complaints made in person or over the phone don’t count and leave the tenant with little power.
This is why The National Landlords Code of Excellence Ltd launched a free Property Maintenance and Repair reporting facility for private renters in October 2016. It is now proactively helping tackle the age-old problem of maintenance/repair issues between tenants and their landlords.
Director of the NLCE UK, Sam Jackson, said:
‘We are holding our 3rd Landlord Training day this week, meaning that we will have over 30 accredited landlords in less than 6 months !
Our maintenance/repair reporting system is working brilliantly too. For example, we had a fairly serious report come in last Friday from a North Somerset tenant. Today, the tenant has confirmed that the landlord is now addressing all of the issues after our team got in touch.
This just goes to show that communication is the key here; the difference this has made to the tenants well being is massive considering how distressed they were only one week ago.’
As the NLCE grows it plans to offer more educational help to tenants about issues; such as how to deal with general maintenance issues themselves.
The NLCE believe that better understanding of these issues will lead to a better relationship between tenants and their landlords from the beginning.