No-fault evictions by bailiffs up 41% in one year

Posted 10 Aug 2023

No-fault evictions by bailiffs up 41% in one year

Shelter urges the government to make scrapping unfair no-fault evictions a priority

New Ministry of Justice data, released today, shows the number of households removed from their homes by court bailiffs as a result of no-fault evictions is up 41% in one year in England.   

Between April and June 2023, 2,228 households were evicted by bailiffs because of a Section 21 no-fault eviction, up from 1,578 households since the same quarter last year.  

21,332 households have been kicked out of their homes by bailiffs since the government first promised to ban no-fault evictions in 2019. 

Private landlords started 7,491 court claims to evict their tenants under Section 21 this quarter, up 35% in a year, putting thousands more renters at risk of homelessness.  

Section 21 evictions are a major contributing factor to rising homelessness because they allow landlords to evict tenants with only two months’ notice and they don’t have to give a reason.  24,060 households were threatened with homelessness as a result of a Section 21 no-fault evictions in the past year – up by 21% compared to the previous 12 months. 

The government first promised to scrap no-fault evictions in 2019 and, this May, it finally published its Renters (Reform) Bill that would allow this to happen. The Bill has since failed to progress through Parliament and Shelter is urging the government to urgently prioritise its progress as soon as it returns from recess in September.  

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said:“With private rents reaching record highs and no-fault evictions continuing to rise, hundreds of families risk being thrown into homelessness every day.  

“Landlords can too easily use and abuse the current system. Some will hike up the rent and if their tenants can’t pay, they will slap them with a no-fault eviction notice and find others who can. We speak to renters all the time who feel like they have zero control over their own lives because the threat of eviction is constantly hanging over them.  

“The Renters Reform Bill will make renting more secure, and for those who live in fear of the bailiffs knocking at their door, these changes can’t come soon enough. The moment Parliament resumes, the government must get rid of no-fault evictions which have made the prospect of a stable home little more than a fantasy for England’s 11 million private renters.” 

Anyone who is facing homelessness can get free and expert advice from Shelter by visiting www.shelter.org.uk/get_help.  

ENDS

Notes to editors:

Section 21 Bailiff eviction statistics: The number of households in the private rented sector evicted by bailiffs via Section 21 proceedings is the number of accelerated procedure repossessions by county court bailiffs between April and June 2023. The annual increase is in part due to the lifting of the eviction ban on 31st May 2021 and the subsequent backlog in the courts. This data is published by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and is available at: Mortgage and Landlord Possession statistics: April to June 2023 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) (Table 8)  

Repossessions by county court bailiffs Accelerated procedure (Section 21) 
Q2 2022  1,578
Q2 2023  2,228
Change compared to Q2 2022   +41% 


Court proceedings statistics: The government's mortgage and landlord statistics (Table 8) show that there has been a 35% increase in claims issued by private landlords using the accelerated procedure in England compared to the same period in 2022. 

Claims  Accelerated procedure
Q2 2022  5,540
Q2 20237,491
Change compared to Q2 2022   +35%

The eviction ban was in place between March 2020 and May 2021. It reduced the number of cases being heard by the courts and the number of bailiff evictions. Since the ban was lifted, bailiff evictions have increased. 

About Shelter:Shelter exists to defend the right to a safe home and fight the devastating impact the housing emergency has on people and society. Shelter believes that home is everything. Learn more at www.shelter.org.uk.