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End of “tolerated trespassers” welcomed

22 April 2008

The concept of “tolerated trespassers” is set to be consigned to history following a government amendment to the Housing and Regeneration Bill.

The courts have used the label since 1996 to describe former tenants whose tenancies have ended as a result of a possession order but have not actually been evicted and are still paying rent, often through housing benefit.

Hazel Blears, minister for communities and local government, tabled amendments to the Housing and Regeneration Bill before it enters its report stage in the Commons, including a new Schedule 2.

If the amendments were adopted, no tenancy would be ended by landlord action until the tenant was actually evicted by enforcement of a possession order.

Current “tolerated trespassers” still in occupation would have their tenancies reinstated from the coming into force of the bill.

“The government is to be congratulated on this carefully drafted proposal to deal with the problem of tolerated trespassers, which has been around too long,” said David Watkinson, from the Housing Law Practitioners Association law reform group.

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