The number of landlords launching “no-fault” eviction court claims against their tenants has sky-rocketed in three months, according to new data from the Ministry of Justice.
Latest figures show that between July and September 2023, landlords in England started 8,399 court proceedings to evict tenants using a section 21 order, which allows a landlord to remove a tenant without providing any reason.
It means that proceedings have reached a seven-year high and have risen 27% on the same period last year and 11% from April to June. The figures also show that bailiffs removed 2,307 households from their homes as a result of a section 21 eviction between July and September, the highest number in four-and-a-half years of any quarter.
It comes just a few days after the Government said it would delay the long-awaited abolition of section 21 until court reforms and stronger possession grounds for landlords were in place.
A map showing the number of eviction claims launched in England between July and September revealed that Gateshead had the highest rate of “no fault” eviction claims per 100,000 rented households in the North East, at 56.9. This was followed by Newcastle, with a rate of 55.3 per 100,000 rented households.
The North East area with the lowest rate of eviction claims was Northumberland, with 25.9 per 100,000 rented households. Our map shows the number of eviction claims made in your area and how this compares to the rest of England.
All the top 10 areas with the highest number of landlords launching no-fault eviction court proceedings were in London, with the exception of Birmingham (161 claims) and Manchester (158).
Compared to the number of renters in each area, Enfield also had the highest rate of no-fault eviction claims, with 447 for every 100,000 households. That was followed by Slough in Berkshire (330 per 100,000 households).
Housing charities have now called for action to protect renters.
Polly Neate, chief executive of housing charity Shelter, said: “It beggars belief that this government is prepared to use cynical tactics to delay the banning of no-fault evictions, while record numbers of renters are being removed from their homes without cause.
“Renters have waited four long years for the government to come good on scrapping section 21, to make that now dependent on unspecified court reforms taking place is ludicrous. Renters shouldn’t have to live for one more day with the fear they can be evicted from their home for no reason, knowing that once that notice lands on their doormat, there is nothing they can do.
“With homelessness at record levels, there’s no excuse for putting the ban on unfair no-fault evictions on ice. If the government plans to keep its promises to England’s 11 million private renters, it must give a clear timeline of when it will pass the Bill and enforce the ban.”
Tom Darling, Campaign Manager of the Renters’ Reform Coalition said: “These shocking repossession statistics demonstrate section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions are soaring out of control while the government continues to appease landlords. And of course, these figures are just the tip of the iceberg – the vast majority of renters will not fight their eviction notice in court, so the real human cost will be exponentially higher.
“As we approach winter, the situation for private renters looks set to become even more bleak amongst rising rents and utility bills going back up. We know that homelessness services in councils right across England are already stretched to breaking point – further evictions will worsen the situation and mean more people falling through the cracks.
“Amidst this crisis it beggars belief that the government haven’t set a date for when we can expect an end to no-fault evictions. They must do so immediately.”
Number of eviction claims in the North East:
- Northumberland: 13 eviction claims, 25.9 per 100,000 rented households
- North Tyneside: 16 eviction claims, 46.5 per 100,000 rented households
- Newcastle upon Tyne: 34 eviction claims, 55.3 per 100,000 rented households
- Gateshead: 21 eviction claims, 56.9 per 100,000 rented households
- South Tyneside: 12 eviction claims, 41 per 100,000 rented households
- Sunderland: 19 eviction claims, 37.5 per 100,000 rented households
- County Durham: 30 eviction claims, 34.5 per 100,000 rented households
Anyone who is facing homelessness can get free and expert advice from Shelter by visiting www.shelter.org.uk/get_help.
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