News: Better Protection Needed for Repossessed Tenants

Mon, 30 Mar 09

Several organisations have formed a pressure group that is petitioning for new legislation to protect tenants in England and Wales, who are forced out of their homes because their landlord is repossessed.

According to the Citizens Advice Bureau, Shelter, Crisis and the Chartered Institute of Housing, the problem is on the increase and tenants would benefit from more notice from lenders.

Under the current regulations the legal minimum is two weeks. This will increase to seven weeks from 6th April but is still arguably too short a period in which to settle a new tenancy and move house.

Crisis estimates that over 8,000 buy-to-let properties could be repossessed during 2009, pushing the number of people made homeless in this way to well over 10,000.

According to the housing charity, in some cases no notice whatsoever is received by tenants who have returned home to find their locks have been changed.

One reason for this could be that notices sent to properties about to be repossessed are addressed to 'the Occupier' rather than specifically to 'the Tenant'.

Those involved in the lobbying want this to change and are also calling for courts to be empowered to defer repossessions until tenants find new accommodation.

The campaigners have therefore written to MPs urging them to sign an Early Day Motion calling for changes in the law.

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