Tenants will no longer be evicted without warning if their landlord defaults on their mortgage.

New rules have come into force giving judges the power to delay repossessions in order to give tenants time to find a new place to live.

People could previously be abruptly evicted from rental properties if their landlord had defaulted on their mortgage and had failed to inform their lender that they were renting out the property.

In some cases, tenants were not even aware of the situation until a court summons was received or bailiffs arrived, despite the fact that they had kept up with their rent.

But under the new rules, they will be able to attend court repossession hearings for the first time, while judges will also be able to take their situation into account and delay repossession by up to two months.

Lenders must also ensure tenants know that their home is going to be repossessed by sending a letter to the property giving them notice of a court hearing date.

Once a repossession order has been granted, the lender must send a second letter to the property telling tenants they have a warrant for its possession.

The tenant can then request a delay of up to two months if they have not previously had the opportunity to do so.

Housing minister Grant Shapps said: “Of course all landlords should get permission from their lender before renting out their home. But when landlords don’t, and they face the real prospect of repossession, their tenants should not be left worse off than any other tenant as a result.”

The changes have been introduced under a Private Members Bill brought by Dr Brian Iddon, Labour MP for Bolton South.


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