There’s good news for tenants in a recent Act passed to protect them from sudden eviction if their private landlord defaults on the mortgage of their rental property.
In a time where repossessions are at an all time high, many tenants have been caused extreme distress when bank bailiffs arrive out-of-the-blue at their front door. Astonishingly, this was the first news some tenants had about any repossession proceedings and the need to move out.
Tenants are left vulnerable when some landlords do not inform their lender they plan to privately rent a property. If the landlord then defaults on the mortgage, tenants are vulnerable to rapid eviction. Even if tenants displayed model behaviour throughout their tenancy, keeping up payments on time, this is no argument against landlord repossession proceedings.
But now, Housing Minister, Grant Shapps welcomed the Mortgage Repossessions (Protection of Tenants etc) Act 2010 which came into force on 1st October, giving the courts power to delay repossessions therefore providing tenants with breathing space to find a new home to rent.
Lenders must now inform the tenant in writing of the upcoming repossession. When the repossession is granted, another letter must be sent informing the tenant of this. The tenant is then within their rights to request a delay of the repossession by two months. If this request fails, they can apply to have the order stayed by two months.
Grant Shapps supported this legislation while in Opposition, and said: “Of course all landlords should get permission from their lender before renting out their home. But when landlords don’t, and they face the real prospect of repossession, their tenants should not be left worse off as a result.”
He added: “As with all homeowners, I expect lenders to seek repossession only as a last resort. But where action is being taken against a landlord, their tenants must get a fair amount of time to find themselves a new home.”