An Early Day Motion has been tabled by Respect MP George Galloway, calling for protection for tenants of landlords who are letting out their houses unlawfully.
‘Accidental landlords’ are often not aware that they must have the permission of their mortgage lenders and insurers before they let out their home.
It means that if the landlord defaults on a mortgage, tenants face the possibility of eviction – even if they themselves are not in rental arrears.
An EDM very rarely progresses, but one that is well supported shows strength of feeling on a subject and can influence future decision making.
In August, the charity Crisis reported that the number of private tenants has risen 70% over the past three years.
Currently, if a landlord has a mortgage on a property that is not a buy-to-let deal and/or has no permission to be letting it out, then the lender can serve a S.21 notice and the tenant may be faced with a two-month notice to quit. It is possible that some lenders may prefer to take over the running of the property and become the landlord, but this is a matter of choice.
The EDM reads: “That this House notes that there remains a huge need for affordable rented property and that increasing numbers of tenants are dependent on the private rented sector; further notes that tenants of landlords who have unlawfully let their mortgaged properties will face the possibility of immediate eviction through no fault of their own; believes that private tenants should not be the victims of financial irresponsibility by their landlords of which they can have no knowledge; and urges the Government to conduct an urgent review of the situation and to come up with legislative proposals to give private tenants statutory protection in the case of property repossessions.”