About 700,000 tenants served with ‘no-fault’ eviction notices

An estimated 700,000 private tenants have been served with “no-fault” eviction notices since the start of the pandemic, despite a Government promise to scrap them.

Section 21 eviction notices are still in use and ministers are facing calls to deliver on their promise from a new coalition for reform of renters’ rights, which includes the charities Generation Rent, Crisis and Shelter, as well as Citizens Advice and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

The renters’ reform bill, which promised to abolish no-fault evictions, was announced in the last Queen’s speech in December 2019 but has not yet been delivered.

Of private renters who responded to a Survation survey, eight per cent had received a Section 21 notice from their landlord since March 2020, which would represent 694,000 private renters across England. A further 32 per cent were concerned they would be asked to move out this year.

Polly Neate, the chief executive of Shelter, said private renters have “had a bad deal for too long – living at the mercy of a broken and unfair system”. “As we emerge from this crisis, Boris Johnson must keep his promise to bring the bill forward and give every renter the security and rights they need,” she said.

Campaigners have welcomed a U-turn by the Government on one aspect of affordable housing policy. Ministers have signalled that they will not raise the minimum threshold at which developers of new housing estates are required to provide affordable units from 10 to 40 or 50 homes, as originally proposed in draft planning reforms.

Tom Fyans, the deputy chief executive of CPRE, said: “Rural communities are facing unprecedented pressure when it comes to housing – rising house prices and low rates of affordable housebuilding are only making this situation more precarious. So, it is a massive relief and hugely welcome that the government has decided to drop its proposal to massively loosen the duty for developers to build affordable homes.”

By Patrick Mooney, Editor