Law News

Claims Section 21 is ‘leading cause of homelessness’ not supported by available evidence

Em Morley - August 16, 2019

The National Landlords Association (NLA) has rejected claims from the Government that the use of Section 21 eviction notices by landlords has been the leading cause of homelessness in the UK.

This is in regards to government data stating that 11.8% (3,890) households out of 33,020 assessed by local authorities between October and December 2018 faced homelessness as a result of being served Section 21 notices.

These figures also highlighted the top reason for why families lost their last settled home being because family or friends were no longer willing or able to accommodate them. This accounted for over 15,000 households.

The next most common reason was an assured shorthand tenancy (AST) coming to an end. This includes tenancies ended using Section 8, which is a fault-based system, and tenants abandoning the property, as well as Section 21.

Richard Lambert, CEO of the NLA, commented: “Claims by the government and tenant support groups that Section 21 is the leading cause of homelessness are not supported by the available evidence.

“They are factually incorrect, misleading and just plain wrong. No reasonable landlord would seek to evict a tenant without good cause.

“Most evictions are a symptom of wider issues, such as the freeze on local housing allowance, insecure jobs, and the lack of support for vulnerable tenants to sustain private tenancies successfully.

“The increase in the use of no-fault evictions through Section 21 is because landlords simply don’t have faith in the courts being able to deal with eviction cases, however justified their reason.

“That’s why we’re appealing directly to the prime minister to save section 21. Landlords are running businesses and have very few options when it comes to managing the risks they face. The focus should instead be on fixing the issues that contribute to this risk.”