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Volume 264: debated on Monday 23 October 1995

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement about the protection afforded to tenants who have signed what otherwise is a legally binding contract for a set period of tenure but who, in the event of a landlord defaulting on his mortgage payments, can be given two weeks' notice to quit by a mortgage company, following repossession of the property. [38096]

I sympathise with tenants whose landlords default on their mortgages and who face eviction at short notice through no fault of their own. However, I do not believe that legislation is the appropriate solution to this problem. Granting such tenants statutory rights to occupation would lead to lenders restricting mortgage loans. It would also reduce the supply of properties available in the private rented sector.Following our discussions with the Council of Mortgage Lenders, it is now a condition of granting a lender an order for possession that a letter has been sent to the occupier to forewarn tenants that they will have to leave.