Grant Shapps MP, the minister for housing, has today welcomed new rules to help tenants facing eviction due to their landlords not having the consent of their mortgagee link to details or lender to be letting. All well and good but I was brought up to honour my agreements, if I sign something that says 2 or 3 months notice will be given then I would expect that to be the case and if served with that notice I would prepare to move out in the given time- but that’s not the case in landlords v tenants! No, tenants do not have to move out, despite having signed an agreement, until a court eviction notice is served! This can cost a landlord money, ties up court time and frequently during the time the tenant is awaiting the court eviction the rent goes unpaid! (Despite the housing benefit still being direct paid to the tenant, that’s our tax being paid for housing that is then not used for housing).
Let’s be quite clear I do not condone a landlord letting a property without the right consents and if they do so then the full weight of the law/repossession should be brought to bear on them, I also fully understand that in these circumstances the tenant is the victim but, nevertheless, if they agreed to x y or z notice then that’s life and that notice period should stand and if the new law allows them to appear at the court and request this notice period then that’s all fine and to the good but if it gives them rights beyond this then I would question that.
I also understand that without a court order a ‘scam’ to get a council house could be perpetrated, but really, surely that could be overcome- after all if the tenant is in arrears, whilst having received their housing benefit, why should the state/council re-house them? Likewise if being evicted for antisocial behaviour, failure to maintain the property etc why should the council/state re-house them? There are plenty of deserving would be tenants wanting housing yet some tenants break their lease terms and expect to re-housed. Yes I hear all the pleas of what about their children etc etc but we must all take responsibility for our actions and current legislation seems to absolve tenants of their responsibility to adhere to the terms of their agreement. Unless we all start to take our responsibilities seriously it will remain very difficult to move on. The law needs refining for landlords too if we are to be able to improve Southend for the Better.