Tenants should be able to challenge Section 21 notices and get compensation if they’re forced to move home for reasons outside their control, says Generation Rent.
The campaign group is calling for measures to challenge ‘mandatory’ evictions when a landlord wants to sell and to help tenants fund the £1,700 that it costs an average household to move home.
Generation Rent says Section 21 is used by landlords when selling up, who can also abuse it to re-let at a higher rent, or to avoid making repairs.
Its research shows that more than 40,000 households in England have been threatened with homelessness by landlords using no-fault eviction grounds in the two years since the government promised to abolish them.
Between April 2019 and March 2021, councils dealt with 557,030 cases of homelessness, of which 91,710 were private tenants facing eviction. Of these, 44,040 households were facing eviction due to their landlord selling up, re-letting or evicting following a complaint by the tenant – representing 0.9% of England’s 4.7m private renter households.
The Prime Minister’s local borough of Hillingdon has the second worst rate in the country, with 29 in every 1,000 private renter households having faced homelessness after complaining about disrepair, or after their landlord decided to sell or re-let their home.
Alicia Kennedy, director of Generation Rent (pictured), says: “Being forced to move for reasons outside your control creates unimaginable stress, uproots you from your community and disrupts children’s education. Right now, landlords need no reason to inflict this on their tenants.
“The government has rightly committed to the abolition of Section 21 evictions, but this is too late for the thousands of renters who have faced homelessness while the reforms have been delayed.”