A social tenant Rebecca Powell, has just won her case against Hounslow Council, in a ruling by the supreme court, that she cannot be evicted as it is against Article 8 in the European Convention on Human Rights, to be evicted, even though she was in £3500 worth of arrears.
A further case has recently been submitted to the appeal court from a PRIVATE TENANT against an eviction, claiming it is against their human rights too.
The Private Landlord and agent community waits with bated breath for the results and the outcome of this case, as the consequences would be catastrophic.
It will be like going back to the old days when as a landlord if you rented out your property to a tenant, you had no means of ever getting it back, with statutory and protected tenancies, a tenant could pass the tenancy down 2 rights of succession and therefore two generations!
Previously this completely decimated the Private rented sector (PRS), can we really afford to go back to that? In 1900 over 90% of the properties in this country were privately rented; however because of the overzealous regulation put in place to “protect tenants” this resulted in the PRS falling to a shockingly low 7% by 1987 and a huge shortage in rented accommodation. It was only the introduction of the Housing Act 1988, and the fairer Assured Shorthold Tenancy on the 15th January 1989 that turned the PRS around and enabled the growth we see today allowing the PRS to grow to the 17% it is today, with huge growth further predicted, as more and more people find home ownership beyond their reach.
At a time when we need rented properties to meet the shortage of housing, to meet the need of immigrants, low income families, young people and those moving jobs around the country, this is an extremely dangerous move to be making for the government and the judicial system. A lack of PRS availability could also lead to higher unemployment as people are forced back into home ownership, removing the flexibility to up sticks and go, to where new employment can be found.
What would happen if due to the arrears, the landlord can’t pay his mortgage, would it also mean that the mortgage company cannot evict? Would having your house repossessed be the only way to get out of a commitment to a tenant? What about the landlord’s human rights to be paid?
It seems that the world is going crazy; criminals can’t be departed because they are entitled to a life with their cat, prisoners are allowed to have children as their human right, and now we could be faced, with people that take on a financial commitment, don’t have to pay…
Where will it end? We need to talk about this/blog /tweet/ and lobby to get it out in the open, government and the like need to be aware of the consequences to their long term housing goals if this action succeeds.