The Homelessness Reduction Bill, which was published by the Communities and Local Government Select Committee last week, has received backing from the National Landlords Association (NLA).
The Bill, as tabled by Conservative MP Bob Blackman, includes measures to help councils intervene earlier to prevent people from becoming homeless.
The Bill amends the Housing Act 1996 to expand councils’ duties to reduce homelessness by providing that eviction notices are proof that an applicant is threatened with homelessness and doubling the definition of ‘threatened with homelessness’ from 28 to 56 days.
The Communities and Local Government Select Committee will now undertake a pre-legislative inquiry to examine whether the Bill will achieve its aims of reducing levels of homelessness.
Richard Lambert (right), chief executive officer at the NLA, said: “When faced with eviction, many tenants are advised by councils to remain in a property until forcibly evicted by bailiffs, thus making them homeless and eligible for social housing.
“The NLA has consistently warned that putting vulnerable households in this position puts an unnecessary strain on tenants, landlords, and the Courts Service. As a result, landlords become less likely to let to those in need.
“By ensuring that councils accept eviction notices as evidence of homelessness, this Bill will take the strain off of overstretched courts, ensure that tenants are properly supported by their local councils, and provide landlords with the confidence they need to let their property out to more vulnerable tenants.”