Local Authorities: More Funds Needed for No Fault Evictions Ban

Councils will need ‘more staff and funding’ to enforce ban effectively

Local authorities have warned that councils will need more resources to effectively enforce a ban on no fault evictions.

Proposals to eliminate no fault evictions were first put forward in April 2019, when it was announced that landlords would no longer be able to evict tenants at short notice and without good reason.

Under the new law, landlords could be charged up to £30,000 for breaching the rules, and it would be up to local councils to implement this.

But while the Local Government Association (LGA) has welcomed the changes for renters, spokesperson Darren Rodwell told the BBC he had concerns about how local councils would effectively police them.

While councils will be able to keep any revenue generated from fines against landlords, this won’t necessarily cover the cost of investigating breaches. And there is a worry that this could impact the ability of local councils to work proactively when tracking down landlords who are breaking the rules.

Local councils say resources are already stretched

Although local councils embrace the benefits of a no fault eviction ban, the LGA has pointed out that there are “still some unknowns” when it comes to councils actually enforcing the new rules. This is largely because of the limited resources available to them.

Rodwell, who is also the Labour leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, said that “every council” he was aware of had a shortage of environmental health officers and tenancy relations officers. These are the people who would be responsible for investigating any potential offences.

Jo Smith, a private sector housing manager at Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, has spoken about how difficult it is to find rule-breaking landlords with such a small team. She said that this often results in the council relying on tenants to report their own concerns before anything is done.

Henry Dawson from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health has supported this sentiment, saying: “At the moment it’s very much about firefighting in major cases … if we’re about to bring in a whole raft of new responsibilities, we need to bring in more staffing to support that and also a sustainable model for funding of new staff.”

The response from the government

A spokesperson for the Department for Housing, Levelling Up and Communities has said: “We will continue to support councils financially so they have the right resources to put tenants first, that includes fully funding any additional costs that may fall on councils as a result of our proposed reforms.”

It’s yet to be seen how the new ban on no fault evictions will affect the rental housing market. But for renters who are currently facing the prospect of an unfair eviction, the changes can’t come soon enough.

If your landlord has breached the terms of your tenancy agreement, we could help you take legal action. To find out more about our services, give us a call on the number at the top of the screen or start your enquiry online.


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