No-fault evictions skyrocket amid Government delays to ban

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The number of section 21 – so-called ‘no-fault’ – evictions taken to court rose to 8,399 last quarter (July-September 2023) in new landlord possession data released by the Ministry of Justice. This is the highest quarterly figure since 2016 – and an increase of 37.9% on the previous year’s quarter. The surge comes after the Government again delayed the implementation to the ban on no-fault evictions, proposing that the policy will not come into force until the courts have been reformed, which campaigners have labelled an ‘indefinite delay’.

The news came as Clive Betts MP, Chair of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (LUHC) Committee, wrote to the Secretary of State for the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, to urge the Government to commit to a timetable for abolishing section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions.

As the majority of section 21 evictions are not contested and therefore do not end up in court, the real numbers of section 21s issued to tenants will have been many times higher. Polling by Shelter estimates that 172 families a day are served a Section 21.

The results put the total number of section 21 claims taken to court since 2019 – when the government promised to deliver a ‘better deal for renters’ and ban the practice – at a staggering 81,439.

Tom Darling, Campaign Manager of the Renters’ Reform Coalition said:

“These shocking repossession statistics demonstrate section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions are soaring out of control while the Government continues to appease landlords. And of course, these figures are just the tip of the iceberg – the vast majority of renters will not fight their eviction notice in court, so the real human cost will be exponentially higher.

“As we approach winter, the situation for private renters looks set to become even more bleak amongst rising rents and utility bills going back up. We know that homelessness services in councils right across England are already stretched to breaking point – further evictions will worsen the situation and mean more people falling through the cracks.

“Amidst this crisis it beggars belief that the Government haven’t set a date for when we can expect an end to no-fault evictions. They must do so immediately.”