Councillors on Bath & North East Somerset Council have called for the end of ‘revenge evictions’, highlighting the plight of renters facing eviction at the whim of rogue landlords.
The issue was highlighted in a debate by B&NES Councillors earlier this month. Leading the debate, and drawing on her own, moving, personal experiences, Lib Dem Councillor Michelle O’Doherty called for urgent action from government.
Councillors agreed to lobby for the so-called “Section 21” notices to be scrapped.
These allow landlords to evict tenants with just two months’ notice, once the initial term of a tenancy has expired, and leave tenants at risk of revenge eviction and debt crises.
Councillor O’Doherty (Newbridge ward), said: “4 years ago, my family was evicted from our rented home. Our crime was to complain about the damp and mould creeping up the walls of the children’s bedroom, the inadequate heating and the insecure doors and windows.
“We were given 2 months to leave and had to find almost £2000 to pay a new deposit and agent’s fees.
“This was an incredibly stressful situation. As local people know, finding a decent, and affordable, family home in Bath is not easy.
“Unfair evictions lead to so many problems with debt and mental health. They make it difficult for people to put down roots in a community.
“Some of these problems become very deep seated and difficult to fix. Ending Section 21 evictions could prevent them from happening in the first place.
“I’m thrilled that Councillors from all parties agreed that action is needed. The Lib Dems are committed to eliminating rogue landlords and improving standards in rental housing.
“Changing this law is so important to tenants; it must not be forgotten in the current government upheavals.”
Recognising that rogue operators are thankfully rare, councillors also called for fair safeguards to be included for landlords.