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Housing Minister wades into eviction debate

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis has written to all local councils in England in order to clarify homelessness guidance following pressure from the National Landlords Association (NLA). 

The NLA conducted research earlier this year that showed an alarming number of private tenants are being told by their local council to ignore eviction notices served by their landlords – and to wait for bailiffs to turn up before moving out – in order to qualify for rehousing support.

The NLA has consistently warned that the advice was increasingly being offered because councils refuse to accept tenants’ housing applications before an order for possession has been granted by a court, despite guidance from central government that confirms all housing applications should be accepted from the time notice is served on the tenant. 


Lewis' letter says that: “The statutory Homelessness Code of Guidance, which local authorities are required by law to have regard to, is clear on this matter.

“It contains guidance on how authorities should treat homelessness applications in circumstances where a tenant has received a valid S21 notice.

“It says that housing authorities should not, in every case, insist upon a court order for possession and that no local authority should adopt a blanket policy in this respect.

“Unless a local authority has very good reason to depart from the statutory guidance, then they should not be placing households in this position.”

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    Hooray ! Now lets see if the councils take any notice.

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    Now lets have a faster and cheaper process. With housing benefit no passed to Landlords treated as fraud or theft and some real route to recover lost rents.

  • Philip Savva

    I agree whole heartedly with Steve's comment, i myself am sitting in court waiting to see the district judge to get possession of my own property after a tenant moved in 6 months ago & has paid me no rent for the last 4 months, this surely has to be classed as theft, come on our government pass a law that recognises this as theft, I work hard & my taxes but get no support from government in these matters!


    Phil, Ive lost £45k since 2006. Yes theft of my wage, which often equals min wage. Recently took one as far as attachment of earnings, upon the employer getting the paperwork they instantly sacked him, so still no £ recovered just more court fees thrown at it. We just used the so called accelerated process, 3 months....

  • Peter Lassman

    I applaud the Housing Minister for this action but I do think he should have pointed out to Coynciks that they are actually breaking theLaw by telling people to Ignore the Courts decisions asking people to vacate on a certain date and are therefore Guilty of Getting people to break the law abs as such should be called as a third party and fined for their actions

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    At last a voice of reason from our elected dictatorship aka the government. As Alan says let's see how many take notice.

    Maybe through these posts we can all be kept informed as to who is advocating wait for the bailiff and name and shame them. Likewise we could also learn who is acting in a correct manner according to the law. How long will Housing Minister Brandon Lewis keep his job though?

  • Nick Gordon

    Would just like to echo the comments already made. We are constantly coming across tenants who openly admit that they have been advised by the council to sit tight.

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    My situation is ironic, I am a landlord myself and a tenancy guarantor for a family member who has defaulted on his rent, I have made up the arrears and the council have told him to remain until he is evicted. The landlord has served his s21 and I wrote to end the arrangement which the landlord was happy with as long as he moved out after the s21 yet the council continues to increase my liability as guarantor by telling him he should stay until eviction or he will be making himself intentionally homeless.

    I am liable for the rent whilst he continues to stay and the enormous court costs the landlord will generate by having to evict. The landlord doesn't want to put me in this position. This surely cannot be right and or acceptable behaviour from Councils? i would like to sue them for the liabilities they are creating by telling my family member this!


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