Shelter has published its interpretation of the latest Government landlord possession statistics, claiming they show the courts have seen a 41% rise in Section 21 notice eviction notices as more landlords ‘kick out’ their tenants.

The organisation says the claim, which is based on data covering the first three months of 2022 vs the same period of 2020 before the pandemic hit, shows landlords are turning to no-fault evictions in ‘soaring’ numbers, or approximately 6,000 Section 21 evictions in England during the period.

The figures also show that evictions of all types increased by 32% to 18,626 during the period compared to the previous quarter in 2021. Section 21 ‘no-fault’ eviction notices mean that landlords do not have to give a reason for the eviction and renters can be given eight weeks’ notice.

polly shelter

Shelter is calling on the government to urgently bring forward legislation that will scrap Section 21 no-fault evictions to give renters greater security in their homes during a time of uncertainty – something Ministers have promised to include within the looming Renters Reform Bill.

Polly Neate (pictured), Chief Executive of Shelter, says: “It’s alarming that as the living cost crisis rages more landlords are kicking tenants out of their homes. These are real people whose lives are being turned upside down and simply cannot afford to lose their homes right now.

“While scrapping Section 21 evictions alone won’t solve the cost-of-living crisis for renters, it will at least give them some much-needed security in their homes.”

But Paul Shamplina (pictured), founder of Landlord Action, says the figures quoted by Shelter ‘need clarifying on several fronts’.

paul shapmplina

“If the government’s quarterly figures continue like this throughout 2022 then some 24,000 evictions will take place using a Section 21 notice, approximately 5,000 more than 2019 and, if you compared the two quarterly periods year-on-year, some 41% more, as Shelter point out,” he says.

“But the trend since 2015 has been downwards when 34,000 Section 21 evictions took place.

“After that, changes to the eviction rules greatly diminished S21 evictions as new rules over gas safety certificates and other mandatory tenancy requirements kicked in.

Read more: How to handle the eviction process.

“But the rise that Shelter now refers to is not because landlords want to suddenly evict tenants unnecessarily, but because either Covid has delayed possession actions [for tenants who have stopped paying the rent] or the government’s tax and regulatory changes have driven more of them to quit the sector, and they want to sell up.

“Remember, many are using Section 21 notices to achieve this, rather than the more complicated Section 8 route.”
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  1. The interesting statistic would be how many of those landlords who evicted tenants go on to re-let the property. I imagine many would be fed up and are moving to AirBnB or selling up altogether. If that is the case, then I blame the likes of Shelter and their lobbying for the increase in compliance, legislation and the Government’s tax regime for forcing landlords out.

    Another observation is, I still fail to see why landlords are in anyway responsible for the welfare of tenants who can’t afford their rent. An interesting issue arose in the last week when a police chief suggested police should go easy on and not prosecute thieves who stole food. The idea was roundly condemned by the industry and Government. In many ways landlords and food retailers are alike; both provide one of the key basic life essentials and both operate on similar margins (circa 3% net). Yet supermarkets with huge multi-billion pound profits and CEO’s on multi-million pound salaries of are not required by legislation to allow people who can’t afford food to go in and help themselves and pick up the tab. And if anyone tries to nick even a Curly Wurly grocers have the full force of the law protecting them. Yet for some perverse reason landlords are, under law, expected to carry the cost of defaulters irrespective of the landlord’s financial position, and if we try and assert our rights we are vilified for it. The double-standard is clear. But, I suppose the big supermarkets have huge lobbying capacity, we have the NRLA. Say no more.

    • Absolutely correct! Failure to pay rent is theft, but while the supermarkets can involve the police and invoke criminal proceedings, apparently theft from a landlord is “just a civil matter”. This is completely illogical.

    • Spot on Sir!

      Another curious exception is that significant, willful damage to someone else’s property is criminal damage – unless it is a landlord’s property, whereupon it is a ‘civil matter’…

  2. I would like the media to ask Shelter a two-part question.

    They keep complaining about a lack of housing and especially affordable homes.

    Q1 – Shelter have an Investment Fund which helps support them going forward – if letting property was so easy and so profitable, why has Shelter never built nor let a single property?

    Continuing the Investment Fund theme – their 2021 Annual Report states “Shelter is a social justice organisation which seeks to invest ethically – As such, Shelter’s Investment Policy generally excludes from the portfolio organisations whose primary business relates to ……… housing and property development….”

    Q2 – Can Shelter tell us how they expect others to build homes when the Charity campaigning for them to be built thinks it is “unethical”

    Seriously, someone needs to be asking them.

  3. Shelter is the sole cause of increased evictions with Landlords trying to get out before Section 21 is scrapped, how is that going to help house Tenants, also Shelter should know it’s not their property nor does it belong to the Tenant’s it Rented Property otherwise there is no ownership and would I buy something if it belongs to someone else.

  4. Its time someone got a grip of Shelter the damage they are doing to tenants is frightening.
    Could the main reasons why the Section 21 notices are up be because 1) The courts are finally open for business where they were restricted and often closed in the first quarter of 2021 2) Landlords are sick of being constantly hit by costs and legislation and are leaving the industry and need to get the property back before the Section 21 is banned again because of Shelter 3) Landlords are not entering the industry because of the fear of more legislation so rents have risen and will continue to rise, because of Shelter.
    Shelter seem to be more interested in pursuing a hate campaign against landlords than achieving better quality housing at reasonable rents for tenants.

  5. Is this a surprise? This is what the government want – private landlords to get out of the business. Their tactics are working. Tea and medals all round for Westminster.

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