Law News

Two years have passed since Government pledged to end ‘no-fault’ evictions

Em Morley - April 16, 2021

This week saw the two-year anniversary of the Government making the decision to end Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions in the private rental sector.

According to a survey commissioned by Generation Rent, 8% of respondents have received a Section 21 eviction notice since March 2020, which would represent 694,000 private renters in England. 

32% of those surveyed are concerned they will be asked to move out this year, which would represent 2.78m private renters across England.

To support renters in their calls for change, the Renters Reform Coalition has been formed – a broad group of 20 leading charities, think-tanks, housing and renter organisations, who are committed to ensuring that private renters have a safe, affordable and stable home, where they can live and flourish.

The coalition has formed to ensure that the Government lives up to its promise and brings forward plans for a redesigned system that better serves the nation’s millions of private renters.

The Renters’ Reform Bill, announced in the last Queen’s Speech, outlined the Government pledge to end ‘no-fault’ evictions as well as making further changes to the private rental sector.

The Renters Reform Coalition outlines its recommendations for the Renters’ Reform Bill and beyond in the adopted policy principles on its website. These principles call for the necessary reforms needed to end ‘no-fault’ evictions and deliver stability, affordability and safety for renters.

Sue James, Chair of the Renters Reform Coalition, says: “Private renters face high rents, poor living conditions and perpetual instability. This causes needless disruption to people’s lives: their finances, work, health and their children’s education. Renters need certainty to enable them to put down roots in communities and create real homes in rented properties.

“Having been a front-line legal housing advisor for many years I have seen the difference that good quality, secure housing can make to people’s lives. We need to see people’s homes as more than just terms in a contract.

“The breadth of organisations that have come together to form the coalition highlights the importance of this issue. It is essential that reform of private renting is a key part of the government’s plans to improve the housing system. The Renters Reform Coalition has formed to ensure that the government keeps its promise. We welcome the opportunity to work with the government to create a renting system that is fair and fit for the future.”

Alicia Kennedy, Director of Generation Rent, said: “A Section 21 notice pulls the rug out from under you. As long as the landlord serves it correctly, you have to move out. That means very few tenants challenge it in court. And because landlords don’t need a reason for eviction, it also means that many tenants live in fear of losing their home and families throughout England have no confidence to put down roots in their local area.

“Renters have been waiting two years for the government to make good on its promise to ban these unfair evictions. If it weren’t for Section 21, 700,000 renters would not have faced an unwanted move during a pandemic and millions more would have confidence to plan their lives.”