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Shelter slams landlords over increasing Section 21 notice evictions

evictions

Shelter has attacked landlords for ‘kicking out’ over 26,000 tenants using a Section 21 ‘no fault’ eviction since the Government revealed it would ban this method of regaining possession of a property five years ago.

The claim, which is made at the same time that quarterly official figures show a 39% rise in the number of Section 21 notices used by landlords year-on-year.

But a closer look at the figures shows that private landlords using ‘accelerated claims’ which is the legal term for Section 21 evictions, have been reducing in recent years following the lockdown ban on evictions.

In 2015, some 38,400 tenants were removed via accelerated claims  followed by 34,200 in 2016, 23,300 in 2018 and then reducing to 9,000 in 2020 following the Covid restrictions.

The Government’s data shows accelerated claims have only recently reached that pre-pandemic levels and, as Shelter does not point out, a significant proportion of these claims are by social housing providers, not private landlords.  

The figures also do not reflect why private landlords have decided to eject a tenant; while some landlords do abuse the system, most are, as we reported yesterday, ejecting problems tenants or seeking to sell their property or move back into it.

One slice of the data not mentioned by campaigning groups is that when tenants refuse to move out following a Section 21 notice, it is taking longer to remove them as the court system falls into crisis.

The official figures show that the median average time from claim to landlord repossession has increased to 23.7 weeks, up from 21.7 weeks in the same period in 2022.

Vested interests

Shelter is also sticking to its line that the Renters (Reform) Act has been deprioritised by the Government under the influence of ‘the landlord lobby’.

Polly Neate (pictured), Chief Executive of Shelter, said: “It’s utterly shameful that the government is bowing to vested interests while renters are marched out of their homes in their thousands.

“How much longer are renters expected to live with the threat of unjust no-fault evictions hanging over them?

“When plans for the Renters (Reform) Bill were first drawn up, they promised renters an escape from an insecure and unjust system that left them in constant fear of losing their homes. But, without serious amends, this Bill won't be worth the paper it’s written on.”

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