Shelter has claimed that the renting reform bill’s slow progress through parliament is harming the health of older tenants, saying its research shows nearly a third live in fear of being evicted by their landlord.
The research, conducted by YouGov and funded by the Co-operative Bank, is part of Shelter’s ongoing campaign to persuade ministers to speed up their plans to ban Section 21 evictions, portraying the landlord community as keen to use ‘no fault’ notices to evict tenants ‘for no reason’.
The housing charity says a tenant over 55 years old is evicted every 16 minutes, it says dashing the retirement plans of some because they then struggle to find affordable properties to rent locally.
Now that Parliament is back from its summer break, Shelter is urging the government to “finally scrap no-fault evictions and protect at-risk renters from the threat of Section 21”.
Shelter’s Chief Executive Polly Neate (main picture) has taken the gloves off, describing Section 21 evictions as causing ‘gross instability’ for older renters in particular.
“We hear from hundreds of over-55s who have worked for decades in search of safety and security later in life - it’s a disgrace that so many are being stripped of a stable home by the gross injustice of Section 21 no-fault evictions,” she says.
“Instead of forcing older renters to pay over the odds for often shoddy rentals that leave them sick with worry, the government must keep its word, and get the Renters (Reform) Bill over the line. Tenants are tired of waiting for a system that makes private renting safe and fair for all.”
But as evictions experts highlighted only recently, landlords seeking to evict tenants will still be able to do so once the new rules come in next year albeit after jumping through more evidential hoops and going through the courts.
Several types of evictions will also remain ‘mandatory’ in the courts including when a landlord wishes to move back into a property and if they wish to sell the property - along with rent arrears cases and anti-social behaviour.