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Renters handed ‘no-fault’ eviction notice every seven minutes, charity warns

The Tories promised to deliver a ‘better deal for renters’ in the 2019 manifesto, which included aims to ditch no-fault evictions and

A private renter in England is handed a ‘no-fault’ eviction notice by their landlord every seven minutes, astonishing research shows.

The Government first committed to scrap the controversial Section 21 notice of eviction three years ago, in April 2019.

Boris Johnson even promised to deliver a “better deal for renters” in the Conservative 2019 manifesto, which included aims to ditch no fault evictions.

But then, the housing charity Shelter has found nearly 230,000 private renters have been served the style of notice; over the last three years.

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

Boris Johnson vowed to bring in a ‘better deal for renters’
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Image:

Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media)

A no-fault eviction notice gives tenants just two months to leave their home and the landlord does not need to give any reason for evicting them.

But landlords do have to have fulfilled other requirements like protecting a renters deposit for the notice to be valid.

In the Queen’s Speech next month, Shelter has urged minister to honour their pledge to deliver a Renters’ Reform Bill this year to make private renting fairer and safer for all.

In 2018, officials prepared to give tenants a three-year minimum contract that would prevent them from being kicked out at short notice, but ministers dropped the plans after a backlash from landlords.

Losing a private tenancy is the second biggest cause of homelessness in England, and the cost-of-living crisis could push even more private renters to the brink, the housing charity warns.

Last year, Housing Minister Christopher Pincher said the Bill would be brought forward “once the urgencies of responding to the pandemic have passed”.

Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Shelter, said: “Millions of private renters are living in limbo – never truly able to settle – in case their landlord kicks them out on a whim.

“It’s a well-founded fear as our frontline services support renters all the time who are scrambling to find a home after being told to up sticks with just two months’ notice.

“With inflation and bills skyrocketing, renters desperately need a secure home as many will struggle to stump up the costs of having to move unexpectedly.

“To give private renters stability during a time of deep uncertainty, the government must introduce a Renters’ Reform Bill that bans no-fault evictions this year. Anything less would be a kick in the teeth for England’s 11 million private renters.”

A government spokesperson said: “Our Private Rented Sector White Paper will set out reforms to make renting fairer for all, including by banning Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions as soon as possible.

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

“This includes putting an average of £1,000 more per year into the pockets of working families via Universal Credit and direct support for bills.”

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