Huge rise in no fault evictions in 2023

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rise in no fault evictions

Figures released in the past week by the Ministry of Justice showed that 9,457 households in England were evicted by bailiffs in 2023, compared to 6,399 in 2022.

A total of 26,311 households have been removed from their homes since the government first promised to scrap no-fault evictions in 2019.

The latest data also showed that a further 30,230 landlords in England started Section 21 eviction court proceedings in 2023, a rise of 28% in one year.

Section 21 evictions allow landlords to evict tenants with two months’ notice and no reason given.

Shelter believes that most renters move out before the end of this notice period to avoid the eviction claim going to court, so the lower repossession statistics may only show part of a bigger problem.

The charity’s research found that since the last time they moved, it took more than one-third of tenants (34%) longer than two months to find a new home, leaving many facing homelessness once a no-fault eviction notice has been issued.

The Conservative government promised to scrap no-fault evictions in its 2019 election manifesto. In May 2023, it published the Renters (Reform) Bill, which also committed to the policy.

Since then, however, ministers have said the ban will only be introduced after a number of court reforms take place.

No date has been set for when the bill will return to the House of Commons for its third reading, but officials said it would happen “shortly”.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said the government was “bowing to vested interests” while renters are “marched out of their homes in their thousands”.

She continued: “When plans for the Renters (Reform) Bill were first drawn up, they promised renters an escape from an insecure and unjust system that left them in constant fear of losing their homes. But, without serious amends, this bill won’t be worth the paper it’s written on.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities said: “Our landmark Renters (Reform) Bill will deliver a fairer private rented sector for both tenants and landlords.

“It will abolish Section 21 evictions – giving people more security in their homes and empowering them to challenge poor practices.”

The previous figures on this issue, published in November, marked a seven-year high.

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