Question regarding Local Authority Homeless policy

by Readers Question

16:06 PM, 15th August 2012
About 8 years ago

Question regarding Local Authority Homeless policy

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Question regarding Local Authority Homeless policy

I have a property related question regarding Local Authority Homeless policy.

My local authority advises tenants to ignore section 21 notices and to stay in the property until a court order / bailiffs arrive. If the tenant does not do this my council deems the tenants to have made themselves voluntarily homeless and they will get no help with re-housing.

I think this must be illegal as well as morally wrong as the tenant is only legally entitled to stay until the date on the section 21. Surely their actions are inducing my tenants to break a valid legal contract, they are interfering in a contract between me and my tenant, and their advice is causing me loss.

I know that Government does not like them doing this and advises them that Homelessness occurs once a section 21 is due to expire as long as it is valid and the landlord has a clear intention of enforcing it. It is such a problem that it has now been given it’s own term – gatekeeping. The council gets no benefit from this policy other than a short term gain, they still end up helping the tenants but just delay it by a couple of weeks. In the long term they shoot themselves in the foot because they now have a tenant on their books for life who will never be able to use the private rental sector because of his poor references due to the legal action.

I have complained about this before with my council but never had the time to take it any further. This time I have made a formal complaint and have a meeting on Monday with them.

What do you think? Do you know of any acts, quotes, references that you know may help my case?

Kind regards

Steve G


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Comments

Sharon Betton

13:28 PM, 10th May 2013
About 8 years ago

I am afraid I can be of no real help here, but have seen this in local areas where it seems that this advice is given with impunity. Some authorities will now say that the tenant is not homeless until the Court has ordered possession, never mind the expiry of the s.21! Also "Prevention teams" are getting involved when a s.21 is issued, trying to further delay action being taken.
Remember, there is a rental liability until the Court orders possession, which may allow some recompense from Guarantors or, if working tenants, with the help of an Attachment of Earnings order.

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