Agenda Item 62   


Subject:                    Protect renters this Winter: Stop revenge evictions!


Date of meeting:    15 December 2022


Proposer:                 Councillor Williams

Seconder:                Councillor Allcock


Ward(s) affected:   All


Notice of Motion


Labour Group


Council notes:


1.    This Winter’s cost-of-living emergency and dangers to tenants in properties with health hazards i.e. damp, mould, excess cold;

2.    The tragic death of two-year-old Awaab Ishak from prolonged exposure to mould;

3.    Mould, damp and serious disrepair in the social and private housing sectors needs addressing;

4.    Action the council can take to prevent revenge evictions, raise standards and deter landlords from breaking the law;

5.    The council has legal powers[1] to intervene in cases of revenge evictions with ‘improvement notices’[2] to invalidate s21 notices;

6.    The 2019 High Court ruling in favour of Hull City Council[3];

Council therefore resolves to request officers to bring a report to  Housing Committee:

a)    Reviewing the council’s private sector housing enforcement policy to reduce tenants’ risk of ‘revenge evictions’ by serving ‘improvement notices’ and ‘emergency remedial action notices’ at the soonest opportunity.


b)    outlining plans to display on the council website steps private renters can take regarding repairs requests and revenge eviction notices



Supporting Information:


·         The tragic death of Awaab Isaak in his property in Rochdale – a coroner has said this should be a ‘defining moment’ for the UK’s housing sector

·         “No-fault” evictions have surged to higher than pre-pandemic levels in recent months, with alarming government figures showing close to 20,000 households were made homeless in England in 2021/22, up from almost 9,000 in the previous financial year;

·         The Government has still not delivered on its promise to ban section 21 “no fault” evictions

·         Retaliatory or revenge eviction is where a tenant makes a legitimate complaint to their landlord about the condition of their property and, in response, instead of making the repair, the landlord serves them with a section 21 asking them to leave


If a tenant has an assured shorthold tenancy or a renewal agreement which started on or after 1 October 2015 and is given a section 21 notice it will be invalid where all these apply:

If the council serve a landlord with a relevant housing notice, a valid section 21 notice cannot be issued within six months of the council's notice. A section 21 will be valid if it is served after 6 months have passed.

There are restrictions on the service of a valid section 21 notice to end an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) when a landlord served the notice following a written complaint from the tenant about the condition of the property and the local authority has served a 'relevant notice'. A relevant notice is an improvement notice in relation to a category 1 or 2 hazard, or an emergency remedial action notice.

Humber Landlords Association v Hull City Council (2019) EWHC 332 (Admin)

[1] Retaliatory Eviction & Deregulation Act 2015, Housing Act 2004

[2] Under 33 & 34 of The Deregulation Act 2015

[3] Verdict held that a local authority was entitled to amend their private sector housing enforcement policy and take a tougher line against retaliatory eviction by making formal action under the Housing Act 2004 the default position where either a category 1 or 2 hazard existed