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Jan 29th, 2010

Good news on the Mortgage Repossessions Bill

By Hannah Lownsbrough

Houses of Parliament

Houses of Parliament

Good news today from the campaign we’ve helped out with on the Mortgage Repossessions Bill. The bill was debated in Parliament this morning and successfully passed on to the next stage of being made law. Because the general election will make this a very short session of Parliament, there were real worries that if something held up the bill at this stage, it might not become law before Parliament finished for the election.

It’s vital that the mortgage repossessions law is made because at the moment, people who rent their houses have very little protection if their landlord gets repossessed. Dishonest landlords may choose not to tell their mortgage providers that they are letting their property out, rather than living in it themselves.

As a result, for some tenants, the first they may know about being evicted because their landlord hasn’t kept up with mortgage payments will be when baliffs turn up on their doorstep. The new law would protect tenants from suddenly being thrown out of their homes, whatever their landlord may have done.

Now, the bill has to go through a committee process and get voted through in the House of Lords. We’ll be staying in touch with Crisis, the national homelessness organisation, who we partnered with on the campaign, to find out about further action we can take to support the bill over the next few months.

Jenny Westaway, Campaigns Manager at Crisis, told us how she felt about the result. “We’re delighted at Crisis that so many 38 Degrees campaigners have taken a stand with us. This new law is crucial to close a loophole that can see tenants being made suddenly homeless, even though they’ve kept up with the rent. With an estimated 324,000 tenants currently at risk it’s vital this gets through parliament as soon as possible.”

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