Homelessness due to no-fault evictions up by 76% in a year
Posted 24 Nov 2022
New government figures show 5,940 households were threatened with homelessness in England as a result of a Section 21 no-fault eviction between April and June 2022 – this has risen by 76% in a year following the end of the eviction ban in May 2021.
To be classified as ‘threatened with homelessness’ by their council, a household must be at risk of losing their home in the next eight weeks. This also means the council have a legal duty to help the household to either stay in their current home or to find somewhere new to live.
A Section 21 no-fault eviction allows landlords to evict a tenant without having to give any reason for doing so, and with just two months’ notice. Shelter is urging the government to bring forward its long-promised Renters’ Reform Bill which will ban no-fault evictions, and to unfreeze housing benefit to help struggling renters this winter to access safe accommodation.
The charity is also calling on the public to support its frontline services who are working seven days a week to help people at risk of homelessness to find, or keep hold of, a safe home.
The government’s homelessness data also revealed:
A quarter of households (25%) were found to be homeless or at risk of becoming homeless because of the loss of a private tenancy (17,530 households). This has increased by 61% in the last year and is the second leading trigger of homelessness.
As well as the damaging impact of no-fault evictions,many private renting households are struggling with affordability issues. The number of private renting households in rent arrears who have become homeless or threatened with homelessness (2,920 households) is up 38% in the last year.
69,180 households in England became homeless or were at imminent risk of becoming homeless between April and June 2022 – this has increased by 2% in the last year.This is slightly down compared to the previous three months,however, the number of households experiencing homelessness remains worryingly high.
Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “This winter is going to be brutal as the cost of living crisis goes from bad to worse, and the threat of rising rents and evictions loom large.
“Not a day goes by without our emergency helpline taking yet more calls from families who are being turfed out of their homes because of no-fault evictions.Many of these families won’t be able to find another rental– and instead may spend a bleak winter trapped in emergency accommodation with nowhere to cook or eat a meal, let alone put up a Christmas tree.
“The government promised to ban no fault evictions, it must get on with the job and make the Renters’ Reform Bill law. And to protect people from the threat of homelessness this winter,it must unfreeze housing benefit so families can pay their rent. In the meantime, Shelter’s frontline advisers will do all they can to help as many people find or keep hold of a safe home.”
Anyone who is facing homelessness can get free and expert advice from Shelter by visiting www.shelter.org.uk/get_help. To help Shelter support more people fighting for their home visit: www.shelter.org.uk/donate.
Notes to editors:
5,940 households approached their council and were found to be threatened with homelessness due to receiving a valid section 21 notice between April and June 2022.This is 76% higher compared to the last year (April to June 2021). This is available at: DLUHC, Live tables on homelessness, Statutory Homelessness Live Tables, Table A1.
The total number of households who are facing homelessness as a result of the end of a private tenancy is the number of households who approached their local authority as a result of the end of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy and were found to be owed a prevention or relief duty. This was compared with data from April to June 2021. These figures are available at DLUHC, Statutory Homelessness Live tables, Tables A2P and A2R
The number of private renting households in rent arrears who have become homeless or threatened with homelessness is the number of households owed a prevention or relief duty who have lost their private rented home due to rent arrears. This was compared with data from April to June 2021. These figures are available at DLUHC, Statutory Homelessness Live tables, Tables A2P and A2R
69,180 households approached their local council and were found to be homeless or threatened with homelessness (owed a prevention or relief duty) between April and June 2022. This is 2% higher than in April to June 2021 but 9% lower than the previous quarter (January to March 2022). This is available at: DLUHC, Live tables on homelessness, Statutory Homelessness Live Tables, Table A1.