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Will new bill reduce homelessness?

Friday 16 September 2016

Tenants who face being kicked out of their accommodation may no longer need to be on the streets to be declared homeless.

This is part of a new bill published which is aimed at reducing homelessness.

Tabled by Tory MP Bob Blackman, if it is passed it would mean those facing being evicted only need an eviction notice before being declared homeless.

Currently, a person would have to wait for a forcible eviction by bailiffs before the local authority would class them as homeless. 

It would give them more time to find alternative accommodation.

Mr Blackman is a member of the Communities and Local Government Select Committee which highlighted concerns over the treatment by some councils of those facing having nowhere to live.

In some cases, they claim desperate people were either turned away or given a list of the local estate agents.

Richard Lambert, CEO at the National Landlords Association (NLA), welcomed the attempt to stamp out such practices, and claimed it could also help put landlords' minds at rest.

He said: "When faced with eviction, many tenants are advised by councils to remain in a property until forcibly evicted by bailiffs, thus making them homeless and eligible for social housing.

"The NLA has consistently warned that putting vulnerable households in this position puts an unnecessary strain on tenants, private landlords, and the courts service.

"As a result, landlords may become less likely to let property to those most in need."

"By ensuring that councils accept eviction notices as evidence of homelessness, this bill will take the strain off over-stretched courts, ensure that tenants are properly supported by their local councils, and provide landlords with the confidence they need to let their property out to more vulnerable tenants."

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