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More than 26,000 no-fault bailiff evictions since government pledge to scrap Section 21

Posted 08 Feb 2024

Shelter warns Renters (Reform) Bill in current form not up to scratch

New government figures, released today, show 26,311 households in England have been removed from their homes by court bailiffs as a result of Section 21 since the government first promised to scrap no-fault evictions in 2019.

The figures on repossession and evictions released by the Ministry of Justice today also show 9,457 households were kicked out of their homes by bailiffs in the past year, up by 49% from 6,339 households in 2022.

A further 30,230 landlords in England started Section 21 no-fault eviction court proceedings in 2023 – a 28% rise in one year.

Section 21 evictions are a major contributing factor to rising homelessness because they allow landlords to evict tenants with just two months’ notice without having to give them a reason. Most renters move out before the end of this notice period to avoid the eviction claim going to court, so the repossession statistics only show part of a much bigger problem.

Shelter’s research shows that it took a third of tenants (34%) longer than two months to find a new home the last time they moved, leaving many to face the terrifying threat of homelessness once a no-fault eviction notice lands on their doormat.

The government first promised to scrap no fault evictions in its 2019 manifesto. In May 2023, it finally committed to the policy by publishing the Renters (Reform) Bill. But since then, they’ve said the ban will only be introduced after unspecified court reforms take place, threatening to deny and delay the meaningful change renters were promised almost five years ago.

Ahead of the Bill’s third reading in Parliament, Shelter is urging the government to oppose any attempt to water down this vital legislation and prioritise amendments that will genuinely fix private renting.

Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Shelter, said: “It’s utterly shameful that the government is bowing to vested interests while renters are marched out of their homes in their thousands. How much longer are renters expected to live with the threat of unjust no-fault evictions hanging over them?

“When plans for the Renters (Reform) Bill were first drawn up, they promised renters an escape from an insecure and unjust system that left them in constant fear of losing their homes. But, without serious amends, this Bill won't be worth the paper it’s written on. 

“There’s still time and opportunity to deliver a Bill that makes renting safer, fairer and more secure, but the government must grasp the nettle and oppose attempts to water down the Bill from inside its own ranks. When they head for the ballot box, England’s 11 million renters will remember who stood with them.”

Anyone who is facing homelessness can get free and expert advice from Shelter by visiting   


Notes to editors:

Court proceedings statistics: The government's mortgage and landlord statistics (Table 8) show that since Q2 2019 – when the government first promised to ban s21 evictions – there have been 26,311 evictions by bailiffs as a result of a s21 notice. The statistics show also that there were 9,457 s21 bailiff evictions in 2023, a 49% increase compared to 2022, when there were 6,339. The eviction ban, which was in place between March 2020 and May 2021, reduced the number of cases being heard by the courts and the number of bailiff evictions. Since the ban was lifted, bailiff evictions have skyrocketed. This data is published by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and is available at:

RepossessionsAccelerated procedure (Section 21)
2019 (excluding Q1)5,807
Total since Q2 201926,311

There were also 30,230 s21 court claims issues in 2023, up 28% compared to 2022:

ClaimsAccelerated procedure (Section 21)
Change compared to 2022+28%

Figures about renter’s experience of moving between private rentals are from a YouGov survey for Shelter of 4,023 private renting adults (18+) in England. The survey was conducted online between 14th July – 16th August 2023, and the results were weighted to be representative of private renters.

QuestionProportion of renters
Thinking about the last time you moved, how long did it take you to find and move into your new privately rented home? [Net answering more than 2 months]34%