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Liberal Democrats attempt to block renter evictions

July 24, 2020 12:38 PM

hwpc (Thanks to Toa Heftiba for sharing their work on Unsplash.)

The Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords have tabled a motion in an attempt to block new Government orders which will allow evictions of private renters in England to resume from 23rd August.

Liberal Democrat Housing Spokesperson in the Lords Olly Grender has tabled a 'pray to annul' motion to the Government's statutory instrument which was laid before Parliament last Friday (17th July 2020).

The Statutory Instrument requires landlords who are seeking possession of their property to submit a 'reactivation notice', but concerns were raised when it became clear that judges will have no legal means to prevent a 'no-fault' eviction, even when faced with evidence that the tenant has been impacted by the pandemic.

The motion put forward by Baroness Grender is the strongest form of objection a motion in the House of Lords can take. If this motion wins, the Government's statutory instrument would be overturned.

Liberal Democrat Housing Spokesperson in the Lords, Olly Grender, said:

Ministers have signed off for their summer holidays without so much as a backward glance at all the renters they have left in the lurch this summer. What the Government should have done is fulfilled their election promise and scrapped no fault evictions altogether, but instead they have just gone back to business as usual allowing evictions of tenants with no explanation.

The fact they snuck these rules out without guidance and without Parliamentary scrutiny demonstrates once again that for this Government renters will always be left behind. The promise in March that "no renter who has lost income due to coronavirus will be forced out of their homes" was nothing more than hollow words.

This is the strongest opposition Parliament can take to the Civil Procedure Rules change - and we hope everyone will rally behind this. The Liberal Democrats will continue to hold this Government to account and stand up for renters' rights.