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Over 24,000 families threatened with homelessness in 2022 due to Section 21 notices

  • 10/05/2023
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Over 24,000 families threatened with homelessness in 2022 due to Section 21 notices
Around 24,060 families were threatened with homelessness due to a Section 21 eviction notice last year, an increase on prior figures.

According to the latest figures from the Department for Levelling Up, the number of families in this position fluctuated over the course of the year, starting in Q1 at 6,540, going to 6,020 in Q2, rising slightly to 6,380 in Q3 before coming to 5,120 in Q4.

The statistics also show that this is up on previous years, with 2021 figures coming to 16,030 and 2020 figures pegged at 11,100. However, due to the pandemic there was a moratorium on evictions which could impact the figures.

Pre-pandemic figures from 2019 show the number of families threatened with homelessness due to a Section 21 notice was 18,450.

A Section 21 eviction, also known as a no-fault eviction, is a notice that a landlord can give tenants to start the process to end an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) without having to find fault with the tenant. They can be used after a fixed term tenancy ends if there is a written contract with no fixed end date.

Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Michael Gove, has said he would scrap Section 21 notices in the Renters Reform Bill, which was due to be heard this week but has been delayed according to reports.

The Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee, said that getting rid of Section 21 notices would make tenants more secure but its proposed replacement could “create a backdoor to no-fault evictions”.

Dan Wilson Craw, acting director for Generation Rent, said: “Section 21 evictions are creating more misery for renters than at any time in the four years since the government promised to scrap this unjust law.

“Not only have these households been forced out of their home for reasons beyond their control, but they have found it so difficult to find a new place to live they needed the council’s support.”

He added: “Without Section 21, landlords will not be able to force tenants out in order to raise the rent, and will be unable to dodge their responsibilities to fix disrepair by issuing an eviction notice when the tenant complains. But we urgently need the government to get started on its Renters Reform Bill, otherwise thousands more families will face homelessness in years to come.”

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