Section 21 no-fault evictions by bailiffs up 143% in a year
Posted 09 Feb 2023
New government figures reveal the number of households living in privately rented homes in England who were evicted by bailiffs as a result of Section 21 proceedings has increased by 143% in a year (from 792 households between Oct and Dec 2021 and 1,924between Oct and Dec 2022).
The figures on repossession and evictions released by the Ministry of Justice today also show6,101landlords in England started Section 21 no-fault eviction court proceedings between October and December 2022 – up 69% in a year, and 47% on the same period in 2019 before the pandemic and eviction ban were put in place.
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.
The loss of a private tenancy is a leading trigger of homelessness in England. The most recent government homelessness data shows that 5,940 households were threatened with homelessness in England as a result of a Section 21 no-fault eviction between April and June 2022 – up 76% in a year following the end of the eviction ban in May 2021.
A Section 21 no-fault eviction allows landlords to evict a tenant without having to give any reason for doing so, with just two months’ notice. 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 is urging the government to bring forward its long-promised Renters’ Reform Bill which will ban no-fault evictions to give renters more security in their home.
Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Shelter, said: “Every eviction notice that lands on someone’s doormat brings with it fear and uncertainty. No one wants to be forced out of their home, but these court figures show that’s happening to more and more private renters in this country.
“The chronic lack of social homes means the demand for overpriced and unstable private rentals has ballooned, and more people are being pitted against each other in the hunt for a home. Every day we hear from desperate families who’ve been served with no-fault eviction notices for daring to complain about poor conditions, or because their landlord wants to cash in on rising rents.
“No fault evictions are pushing too many people needlessly into homelessness and turning thousands of people’s lives upside down. The government has long promised it would scrap Section 21. Renters can’t wait any longer, the Renters’ Reform Bill is ready to go - it’s time the government stopped stalling and changed the law.”
Anyone who is worried about losing their home can contact Shelter for free and expert advice by visiting www.shelter.org.uk/get_help.
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 October and December 2022. The annual increase is largely due to the lifting of the eviction ban on 31 May 2021 and the subsequent backlog in the courts. This data is available at: Ministry of Justice, Mortgage and landlord possession statistics (Table 8)
|Repossessions||Accelerated procedure (Section 21)|
|Change compared to Q3 2022||143%|
Court proceedings statistics: The government’s Mortgage and landlord possession statistics (Table 8) show that there has been a 47% increase in no-fault claims issued by private landlords in England compared to the same period in 2019.
|Claims||Accelerated procedure (Section 21)|
|Change compared to Q4 2019||+47%|
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.
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.