Human rights laws threaten tenancy reform
Landlords have warned human rights laws could undermine government plans to introduce fixed-term social tenancies.
The Residential Landlords Association has said landlords could struggle to evict tenants once their fixed-term is up because of a recent court ruling.
The government unveiled plans to introduce fixed-term tenancies for new social lets, which could last as little as two years, in a consultation paper this week.
But the RLA said the recent case of Manchester Council v Pinnock could make these difficult to implement.
In this case the Supreme Court ruled a court must rule on whether an eviction is ‘proportionate’ under the European Convention on Human Rights before it can go ahead.
Although the eviction was permitted, the decision has raised questions over how practical it is for councils to evict tenants. The RLA said at present the ruling only applies to local authorities, but it is ‘only a matter of time’ before a challenge seeks to extend it to housing associations and private landlords.
Richard Jones, a lawyer, and policy director at the RLA, said: ‘The government is going to face the same problem when it comes to implementing their new proposals for the new style social tenure.’
The body has written to deputy prime minister Nick Clegg and housing minister Grant Shapps voicing its concerns.