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'New laws needed to halt revenge evictions'

MPs debate new law to stop people being booted out of their homes

NEW laws must be introduced to prevent landlords forcing out tenants for complaining about the poor condition of their home in so-called "revenge evictions," MPs said yesterday.

Opening the debate on the second reading of her Tenancies (Reform) Bill, Lib Dem MP Sarah Teather said retaliatory evictions of tenants who legitimately demand repairs are becoming "depressingly familiar" to organisations such as the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) and housing charity Shelter.

Introducing new laws to ban such evictions would simply help tenants uphold existing rules, she said.

Research by Shelter shows that more than 60,000 families were threatened with eviction in the last year for complaining about the condition of their homes. The CAB says that half of those who come to them for help have dependent children.

Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn warned there is "social cleansing" going on in central London and its suburbs as people are forced to move away.

He said: "We need stability in our communities in London and that is best achieved by proper regulation of the private rented sector."

Green MP Caroline Lucas told the house that the risk of homelessness is greater than ever, causing people to live in dreadful conditions for fear of being evicted.

Shadow communities minister Lyn Brown said revenge evictions harm families and create a "climate of fear."

Tory MP Philip Davies was accused by Labour's Stephen Pound of a "pathetic attempt" to talk out the legislation after he gave an hour-long speech against it. The Bill has governmental and cross-bench support.


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