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Mortgage Repossessions Bill given cross-party support

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Tenants whose housing arrangements are thrown in the air when their landlord’s default on the mortgage for a rented property could be handed a lifeline as the Mortgage Repossessions Bill (Protection of Tenants etc) moves one step closer to legislation.

Under the Bill, tenants would be given notice of repossession orders issued to defaulting landlords and courts could be given the power to delay the delivery or execution of a repossession order. Tenants would also have the right to be represented in possession hearings.

The Bill was introduced in the House of Commons by Dr Brian Iddon, MP for Bolton South East, and sponsored in the House of Lords by Lord Best.

Introducing the Bill, crossbench peer Lord Best, who is a chairman of the Property Ombudsman Council, said the Bill is aimed at cases where the mortgage lender did not realise the home was being let.

He told peers: “The tenants are unprotected by the relevant legislation and when the lender seeks to repossess the property tenants may be given no notice even if they are only part way through a fixed-term tenancy agreement.”

The Citizens Advice Bureau has provided evidence in support of the Bill, detailing cases where tenants have been evicted almost without notice and had their personal belongings seized by bailiffs, despite fully adhering to their tenancy agreements.

There may have been up to 2,500 repossession cases of this type in the past year and supporters believe the figure is just the “tip of the iceberg”.

“This Bill will put unauthorised tenants on a level playing field with authorised tenants, giving the former the rights they always believed that they had,” added Communities and Local Government Minister, Lord McKenzie.

“It is unfair that unauthorised tenants should have to suffer short-notice eviction or the risk of it where the situation is not of their making but that of a landlord who has failed to comply with the terms of his or her mortgage.”

No date has yet been scheduled for the Bill’s entry to committee stage, allowing more detailed examination of its issues.

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Written by Andrew Hodges

April 4, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn, New Law

Tagged with ,

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