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  1. ITV Report

Bid to outlaw 'revenge evictions'

Around one in 10 renting families have suffered ill health in the last 12 months because rogue landlords failed to deal with poor conditions in their property, according to the housing charity Shelter.

One in four people in the capital now rent, and their future can be uncertain. As the law stands your landlord can throw you out without a reason. But there is now a cross-party bid to change that, with many MPs wanting to outlaw so-called 'revenge evictions'.

Tina Osborne and her family are being evicted. Credit: ITN
They have had problems with the roof on their rented home. Credit: ITN

Tina Osborne is a mother of three who lives in a rented house. Since she moved five years ago, the roof has collapsed twice. Damp covers the walls and ceilings, which are cracked, the cooker hasn't worked for 6 months, and there's no electricity in one of the bedrooms. Tina says she received her eviction notice two days after she had complained to her landlady.

I'm petrified. At the end of the day, I can take care of myself, but my children can't do that. It scares the life out of me, if we've got nowhere to live they'll end up in care.

– Tina Osborne, tenant
Michael James is also facing eviction after complaining about his rented flat.

It's a similar situation for Michael James, who has lived in his rented flat in East London for 24 years. He says complaints to the landlord fell on deaf ears. He contacted the council and the landlord fixed some of the problems, but not all of them.

When I pointed out loose masonry to the landlord, he looked at me and said 'ah you were the one who contacted the council.' That was the moment he sent me the eviction so there's no question it's retaliatory, there's no question that they want me out because it's going to cost them money to repair the building - money they don't want to spend

– Michael James, tenant

Currently landlords can evict tenants using what's called a "section 21 notice" without giving any reason or allowing tenants any chance to challenge their eviction. A new Private Member's Bill is currently being considered in Parliament which could change this.

The landlord will still be able to evict you if you trash the place - but if its a maintenance issue they will lose the right to evict you without a reason.

– Alex Hilton, Campaign group Generation Rent

But not everyone agrees that the new bill will help. Some say bad tenants are more likely to use it to frustrate legitimate evictions.

What we're worried about is that restricting landlords' ability to gain possession using the no-fault process might actually make life more difficult and clog up the courts because there will be more contested possession procedures.

– Richard Lambert, National Landlords Association

Renting is the reality for millions of Londoners who live in a system that allows landlords to evict them just for asking for the basic things like the roof over their head.