Private tenants receive ‘no-fault’ eviction notices every seven minutes, charity warns

The Tories promised a ‘better deal for tenants’ in the 2019 manifesto, which included scrapping no-fault evictions and

A private tenant in England receives a ‘no-fault’ eviction notice from his landlord every seven minutes, according to startling research.

The government first pledged to remove the controversial Section 21 eviction notice three years ago, in April 2019.

Boris Johnson even promised to deliver a ‘better deal for tenants’ in the 2019 Tory manifesto, which included a move to scrap no-fault evictions.

But then housing charity Shelter discovered that nearly 230,000 private tenants had received the style of notice; over the past three years.

This is despite an eviction ban in place for 14 months of that three-year period due to the pandemic.







Boris Johnson has pledged to deliver a ‘better deal for tenants’
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Picture:

Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media)


A no-fault eviction notice gives tenants only two months to vacate their unit and the landlord does not need to give a reason to evict them.

But landlords must have met other requirements like securing a tenants deposit for the notice to be valid.

In the Queen’s Speech next month, Shelter urged the Minister to deliver on his promise to introduce a Tenant Reform Bill this year to make private tenancy fairer and safer for all.

In 2018, officials prepared to give tenants a minimum three-year contract that would prevent them from being evicted in the short term, but ministers scrapped the plans after a backlash from landlords.

The loss of private accommodation is the second leading cause of homelessness in England, and the cost of living crisis could push even more private tenants to the brink, the housing charity warns.

Last year, Housing Minister Christopher Pincher said the bill would be introduced “once the emergencies to respond to the pandemic have passed”.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “Millions of private tenants live in limbo – never really able to settle down – in case their landlord evicts them on a whim.

“It’s a well-founded fear as our frontline services are all the time supporting tenants who are scrambling to find accommodation after being told to get up on just two months’ notice.

“With inflation and skyrocketing bills, tenants are in desperate need of secure accommodation as many will struggle to drive up the costs of an unexpected move.

“To give stability to private tenants during a time of deep uncertainty, the Government must introduce a Tenant Reform Bill that bans no-fault evictions this year. Anything less would be a kick in the teeth for tenants. 11 million private tenants from England.”

A government spokesman said: “Our white paper on the private rental sector will outline reforms to make renting fairer for all, including banning ‘no-fault’ evictions under Section 21 as soon as possible.

“We are also providing a £22 billion support package to help households cope with rising costs.

“This includes putting an average of £1,000 more a year in the pockets of working families through Universal Credit and direct bill taking.”

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