Before new rules came into force tenants could be evicted from a property with hardly any notice (if any!) if their landlord had defaulted on the mortgage and failed to inform the lender that they were renting the property out, something ‘accidental landlords’ may have been guiltily of – usually because they were unaware they had to inform the lender of the change or were aware but wanted to avoid the additional costs or increased interest rates that some banks charge.
Because lenders were not aware properties were let, courts were unable to take the tenant into consideration when granting a repossession order and situations arose where the first a tenant would know about the landlords issues is when bailiffs arrived or a court summons was received.
Under the new rules of the Repossessions (Protection of Tenants etc) Act 2010 tenants are no longer to be removed from the property without prior warning. For the first time tenants will be allowed to attended court and judges can now take their situation into account and delay the repossession by up to two months. Additionally, lenders now have to send letters to the property in question to inform the tenants of their intention to take possession of the property (providing a date of the court hearing and then their intention to execute a warrant if granted).
Housing Minister Grant Shapps said:
"That's why I backed the Mortgage Repossessions Bill last year so tenants can have their voices heard in court, and can get enough time to find a new place to live.”
Landlords and tenants:
Guidance to the Mortgage Repossessions (Protection of Tenants etc) Act 2010 is published today and can be found at: www.communities.gov.uk/publications/housing/mortgagerepossessionguidance
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