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Mortgage repossessions: tenants' rights (England and Wales)

Published Monday, October 24, 2011

This House of Commons Library briefing paper summarises the options available to tenants when they discover that their landlord has defaulted on the mortgage payments.

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Private tenants can sometimes discover that their landlord has not been meeting his or her mortgage commitments when bailiffs appear on the doorstep with a warrant for possession of their home. Despite being up-to-date with their rent payments, affected tenants could find their security of tenure under serious threat.

This issue attracted a good deal of attention over 2008-09 and resulted in a Private Member’s Bill which gained Government support and which strengthened the rights of tenants in this position. The Mortgage Repossessions (Protection of Tenants etc.) Act 2010 and The Dwelling Houses (Execution of Possession Orders by Mortgagees) Regulations (SI 2010/1809)) came into force on 1 October 2010.

The Act does not prevent lenders from seeking repossession against tenants but it ensures that they should be notified of the proceedings and gives them more time to seek alternative accommodation where necessary.

There is Government guidance on the Mortgage Repossessions (Protection of Tenants etc.) Act 2010.

Shelter also has a very helpful webpage which provides advice for tenants whose landlord has defaulted on their mortgage commitments.




Commons Briefing papers SN05019

Author: Wendy Wilson

Topics: Housing, Mortgages, Private rented housing

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