Protection from Revenge Eviction if you Ask for Repairs: A Private Tenant’s Guide

12 April 2019

As a Private Tenant you are entitled to live in a home that is safe, in good condition and free from disrepair. However, some Private Landlords try to evict renters who ask for repairs or complain about poor conditions which makes them too frightened to raise their concerns.

What is a revenge eviction?

A revenge or retaliatory eviction is when your Landlord tries to evict you because you ask for repairs or complain about poor conditions at your Property.

You're at risk if you have an assured shorthold tenant which means that your tenancy is for a fixed term, usually for 6 or 12 months. This is because your landlord can use the section 21 eviction procedure and won't usually need to give the court a reason for the eviction.

Protection from a revenge section 21 eviction

However, there are laws in place to protect Private Tenants from revenge eviction. As a Private Tenant, you can ask the Council’s Environmental Health Department to inspect your home if it's unsafe or in poor condition.

The Council can:

  • Assess your home under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS); and
  • order your Landlord to carry out repairs or improve conditions.

Therefore, you may be protected from revenge eviction depending what action the Council takes.

When and how long you're protected for

Your landlord can't usually give you a valid section 21 notice for the next 6 months if the Council serves your Landlord with either of the following:

  • Am improvement notice; or
  • An emergency remedial action notice.

However, if the Council take no action, or only serve a hazard awareness notice, your Landlord can still give you a section 21 notice.

If you've already had a section 21 notice

Your section 21 notice usually becomes invalid if you got it after you wrote to your Landlord about repairs or conditions and ALL of the following apply:

  • Your Landlord failed to respond adequately to your complaint within 14 days;
  • You then complained to Environmental Health about the problem; and
  • The Council served an improvement notice or emergency remedial action notice on your Landlord.

When you're still at risk of section 21 eviction

In the following situations, your Landlord can still use the section 21 eviction process even if the council has served an improvement notice or emergency remedial action notice:

  • The Council suspend the improvement notice;
  • Your Landlord wants to sell the property; or
  • Your Landlord hasn't paid the mortgage and the mortgage company want to take possession of the Property. A

re you a private tenant whose home is in need of repairs? Have you asked your private Landlord for repairs and now they are trying to evict you? Contact our specialist Housing Team NOW on 01254 297 130 to see if we can help.

Sallyann Vipond

Head of Housing Disrepair