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Surge in Section 21 Evictions as Landlords Exit the Market

New figures from the Ministry of Justice reveal a concerning 41% surge in Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions. In England, the number of households evicted by court bailiffs under this provision climbed to 2,228 in the second quarter, a stark rise from 1,578 in 2022.

In tandem with this, private landlords initiated 7,491 court claims to evict tenants under Section 21, marking a 35% increase over the year. When assessed alongside the same timeframe from the previous year, mortgage possession claims also saw an uptick of 15%, reaching a total of 3,986.

Currently, the Renters Reform Bill that seeks to terminate Section 21 evictions is making its way through Parliament, though an official date for its implementation has yet to be announced. Shelter, a prominent housing charity, is ardently pushing for the government to fast-track the bill once Parliament reconvenes in September.

Polly Neate, Shelter’s CEO, highlighted the precarious situation many renters face: “With private rents skyrocketing and no-fault evictions on an upward trajectory, the spectre of homelessness looms large for countless families daily. The existing system provides landlords with an undue advantage. Many hike up rents and when tenants are unable to pay, they replace them with those who can, using a no-fault eviction notice as leverage.”

Meanwhile, the NRLA (National Residential Landlords Association) is advocating for a balance that works for both landlords and tenants. Chris Norris, NRLA’s policy director, commented, “Our aim is to see every tenancy upheld. Yet, the rising trend of landlords opting to exit the market and sell properties coincides with the increase in repossession efforts. To curb repossessions, it’s crucial to ensure landlords remain confident in the market. This means the government needs to re-evaluate its recent tax augmentations in the sector and ensure the Renters (Reform) Bill garners the trust of both conscientious landlords and their tenants.”