Revenge evictions for property disrepair complaints
The Deregulation Act 2015, which came into effect on 1 October, 2015 brings a number of changes to the regulation of private tenancies in England and Wales one of which is with 'retaliatory evictions'.
This only applies to private tenancies let on or since 1 October, 2015.
A 'retaliatory eviction' or 'revenge eviction' is where the landlord/agent evicts a tenant because the tenant has complained of disrepair in the property. The Act provides protection for tenants by making these evictions illegal if the local authority provides an Improvement Notice.
An Improvement Notice is a warning from a local authority's Environmental Health department telling the landlord/agent of the disrepair and the work they must undertake to remedy the issue(s) within a specified time.
It is important the landlord/agent is notified of the disrepair and given opportunity to remedy the situation. Therefore the Act cannot be relied on if the landlord/agent is not notified of the disrepair.
Tenants are advised to follow the steps below before the provisions of the Act can be enforced. These are:
Inform the landlord/agent of the repair issue so the landlord/agent is aware of the disrepair and is given opportunity to carry out necessary works.
- Send a copy of the letter to the council's Environmental Health Service via email@example.com or by post to the address below.
- Contact Environmental Health on 020 7364 5000 or via firstname.lastname@example.org once the deadline given to the landlord/agent has expired and the landlord/agent has not provided you with a schedule of works concerning the disrepair and it appears likely the landlord/agent is not prepared to carry out works.
- If Environmental Health serves an 'Improvement Notice' on your landlord/agent asking that the works are carried out by a specified time a Section 21 Notice served by the landlord/agent within six months of the date of the Improvement Notice is invalid.
View a template of a letter to send to your landlord.
Contact Housing Advice if you need advice about your rights as a tenant:
Environmental Health and Trading Standards
Tower Hamlets Town Hall
160 Whitechapel Road
Tel: 020 7364 5000