Tenants try to block eviction under human rights laws

Tenants try to block eviction under human rights laws

16:10 PM, 12th April 2012, About 12 years ago 5

Text Size

Tenants are trying to exploit human rights laws to stop paying rent and block evictions, warns the Residential Landlords Association.

The RLA is concerned that a case waiting to go before the Appeal Court will leave landlords unable to reclaim their buy to let properties if renters breach tenancy agreements.

A social landlord, Hounslow Council, has already lost one case to a tenant in the Supreme Court and the RLA is worried the decision will set a precedent for private landlords.

The council evicted a tenant who owed £3,500 in rent.

The tenant claimed the eviction breached her human rights and the Supreme Court upheld her appeal on the grounds the council had not considered whether it was ‘proportionate’ to evict Miss Powell and ordered that the eviction be quashed.

Under human rights law, proportionality is applying tests to make sure any action is not a ‘sledgehammer to crack a nut’.

The key questions are:

  • Is there a reason for taking the action?
  • Is there a less restrictive alternative that could apply?
  • Have the rights of the affected people been considered?

Explaining the RLA’s concerns, policy director and solicitor Richard Jones said: “Private landlords can start eviction proceedings based on a tenant breaching the terms of their contract if they fall into arrears on their rent by two months. Once a tenancy is ended landlords can evict using Section 21 – the so called no fault notice only ground for possession.

“I am aware of at least one case which has gone to the Appeal Court where a private tenant is relying on human rights laws to try to avoid eviction. We are waiting to see what happens in this case. Even if this does not go ahead another is going to come along and the question is going to have to be dealt with.

“If human rights laws apply to private rentals, small scale landlords letting a couple of properties would soon hit financial crisis point if they were unable to evict a tenant who failed to pay their rent for two months or longer.”

Read Mary Latham’s take on the case

Share This Article


Ben Reeve-Lewis

7:39 AM, 13th April 2012, About 12 years ago

Hadnt we already put this one to bed in Mary's article?

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

7:43 AM, 13th April 2012, About 12 years ago

Yes, I think we had, but as somebody had also taken the trouble to write further detail about the case we felt it was only fair to publish it but to link back to Mary's article.

8:26 AM, 13th April 2012, About 12 years ago

When the council were informed that the tenant is not paying the rent after 2 months, why didn't the council change the payments to the Landlord, even thiough he had informed them,  the tenant is in arrears by 2 months, the alarm bells should be ringing at this stage in the council, do they want the tenant to stay or go.
Some tenants are doing this on purpose, keeping the rent for up to 6 - 7 months, save enough for the next months rent and deposit. After doing one landlord running away before the eviction, or on the eviction day.
The onous fall on the council to find out who these people are and to be cautious, these sort of people should go on a special register for having a bad record.
The landlord who has gone through this has already lost up to 6-7 months rent plus the eviction costs, how is he suppost to survive and pay the mortgage.

12:47 PM, 13th April 2012, About 12 years ago

"how is he suppost to survive and pay the mortgage"
If "his" (why not her?) very "survival" is at risk, then they do of course have the option of selling the property to somebody seeking to buy their own home 🙂

3:46 AM, 14th April 2012, About 12 years ago

You must be a clueless tenant as  only one of you would post such a stupid response.
I had a criminal tenant who owes me £12000 in rent and othe costs.
Was I supposed to sell the property to her at a loss?
I have negative equity, and I am not allowed  by my lender to sell my flat at a loss.
If I managed to who pays the debt outstanding caused by the sale shortfall.
If I don't pay the lender will bankrupt me.
You are typical of idiot tenants who don't have the first idea about property and the problems therein.
Take your moans to another forum who might be interested.
Your stupid comments add nothing to our LL ,debate about in this case a wrongun tenant failing to meet her contractual obligations.

Leave Comments

In order to post comments you will need to Sign In or Sign Up for a FREE Membership


Don't have an account? Sign Up

Landlord Tax Planning Book Now