Investigation into an apparent increase in evictions from private rental housing
In early 2009 the Social Housing Foundation (SHF) and Urban Landmark noted anecdotal evidence suggesting that in the second half of 2008 eviction, and attempted eviction, of tenants from private rental housing on the basis of non-payment/under-payment of rent, increased significantly. At the time it appeared that many evictions were being undertaken illegally on the part of the landlord or manager. Recent amendments to the Rental Housing Act (1999) make it an offence to evict a tenant, or cut off essential services, without a court order.
An understanding of the obligations and rights of both landlord and tenant in the eviction process is lacking and a need for more public education, among other interventions, is required. These concerns motivated a study conducted by the SHF and Urban LandMark in 2009. The two organisations developed a comprehensive brief and commissioned a consortium of researchers and legal experts under the auspices of Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) to carry out an investigation into the apparent increases in eviction from private rental housing. The researchers were to then write a report which analysed the issues, recommended action and established the basis for further investigation.
This study aims to provide the government with the necessary information to take appropriate legislative, administrative, policy and service delivery measures to ensure that the rights and responsibilities of both landlord and tenant are successfully fulfilled and that when evictions are carried out, they are done so legally and with regard to the tenant’s constitutional rights.
Abstract based directly on source.