Activist group Generation Rent are telling tenants to use the slightest documentation error by landlords to avoid eviction.
It claims as many as three quarters of tenants were not given a government guide to renting at the start of their tenancy - a figure the group states is based on renters’ recollections expressed in a survey.
According to the poll just 23 per cent remember receiving a government How to Rent guide at the start of their tenancy.
The group states that “many landlords are failing to comply” on other documentation, specifically:
- 36 per cent of renters remember receiving an Energy Performance Certificate;
- 44 per cent remember receiving a gas safety certificate;
- 47 per cent remember receiving information about where their deposit is protected.
Baroness Alicia Kennedy, director of Generation Rent, says: “Renting is so complicated, it’s easy for tenants to get mistreated by landlords and letting agents who may have no interest in having well-informed customers.
“Tenancy deposits alone can involve a range of problems and it is not obvious when you should go to court, a protection scheme, a tribunal or the council to get yours resolved.
“Although the system needs reform, renters have more protections than it appears, particularly if your landlord has failed in their responsibilities. This can be valuable knowledge now that eviction notice periods have been reduced and landlords throughout England are taking advantage.”
Failure to provide all of these documents makes a Section 21 eviction notice invalid. In addition, if a deposit is not protected in an approved scheme, tenants can apply to the county court for compensation worth up to three times the deposit's value.
The ban on most evictions was lifted on 1 June and the notice period on Section 21 evictions has been reduced from six months to four months.
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