Thousands of Londoners served with no fault eviction notices

·2-min read
 (PA)
(PA)

More than 5,700 London households have been served with Section 21 “no fault” eviction notices since the Government pledged to ban them two years ago, it has been revealed.

Section 21 of the 1988 Housing Act allows private landlords to evict tenants without having to demonstrate any fault, provided they give at least two months’ notice.

In April 2019, then Prime Minister Theresa May announced that her Government would begin a consultation on outlawing no fault evictions as part of wider reforms to the private rented sector. That consultation ended in October 2019.

But between April 2019 and June 2021, 5,770 London households were served with a Section 21 eviction notice, while the Government’s White Paper on reforms to the private rented sector looks to have been delayed until 2022.

The figures were highlighted in a letter to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) from Labour’s London Assembly housing spokesperson Sem Moema.

Ms Moema said: “No fault evictions not only unjustly uproot the lives of too many families and individuals, but add to the insurmountable pressures already being placed upon councils.

“The Government’s inertia over implementing its reforms to the private rented sector and outlawing these evictions has been shameful and this has had a direct impact on thousands of Londoners.”

The Assembly Member has urged the Government to set out a “clear timetable” of when no fault evictions will be outlawed.

While the publication of the proposed changes to the law was expected this autumn, it emerged last week that the DLUHC had told key stakeholders that the White Paper on reforms to the private rented sector would be pushed back until 2022, though no date has been specified.

Research from renters’ rights group Generation Rent found that, on average, households forced out of their homes after being served with a Section 21 eviction faced costs of around £1,709 to move to a new home.

Between April 2019 and March 2021, councils across the country were forced to step in to support 91,710 private tenants who were facing eviction, of which more than 44,000 were because the landlord wished to sell or re-let the property or because the tenants had complained about disrepair.

During that time, Hillingdon was the London borough that saw the most Section 21 evictions, with 640 cases at a rate of 29.1 cases per 1000 private renters. This was the second worse rate in the country behind Havering, which saw 30.3 cases of no fault evictions per 1000 renters.

A DLUHC Spokesperson said: “We remain committed to delivering a better deal for renters, including repealing Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988.

“We will continue to engage constructively with stakeholders across the sector as we develop proposals.”

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