Citizens Advice calls for a two-year ban on tenant evictions

Citizens Advice calls for a two-year ban on tenant evictions

0:07 AM, 16th June 2023, About 9 months ago 9

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Citizens Advice has raised concerns about the potential for backdoor ‘no fault’ evictions if Section 21 is banned – and it wants renters to be protected from eviction for the first two years of a new tenancy.

The charity says it has seen a surge in tenants seeking assistance with Section 21 issues, reaching a record-breaking 2,000 cases in May – a 25% increase since May 2022.

It also says that this year has seen an unprecedented demand for support from those who have received a Section 21 notice, with a 9% increase in the first five months of 2023, compared to the same period last year.

The Renters’ Reform Bill aims to put an end to Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions, but Citizens Advice fears that landlords may still exploit new eviction grounds and excessive rent hikes to force tenants out of their homes unfairly.

‘Renters who are being forced to uproot their entire lives’

The charity’s acting executive director of policy and advocacy, Matthew Upton, said: “Our advisers are increasingly hearing from renters who are being forced to uproot their entire lives after receiving a Section 21 notice.

“For too long, renters have lived in precarious situations with few protections while landlords have held all the cards.”

He added: “Reforms to the private rental sector are welcome but they’re open to abuse from unscrupulous landlords.

“The government must ensure reforms are watertight and not include loopholes which allow Section 21 evictions to continue by the backdoor.”

Evict tenants six months into their tenancy

The charity says the new Bill will enable landlords to evict tenants six months into their tenancy if they plan to sell the property or move family members in.

However, Citizens Advice’s research reveals that 48% of renters who have faced eviction were told that their landlord intended to sell up.

But the charity fears that the new regulations do not mandate landlords to provide proof of following through on their intentions once the tenant has been evicted.

This loophole, the charity warns, could potentially leave renters vulnerable to unfair evictions despite the proposed ban on Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions.

Landlords may resort to excessive rent increases

Citizens Advice is also warning that landlords may resort to excessive rent increases to force tenants out.

In the past year, it says that 1.8 million households have faced rent hikes or threats of an increase, resulting in 300,000 renters losing their homes.

The charity’s findings reveal that less than 10% of renters who contested a rent increase were successful.

Now Citizens Advice is urging the government to address these loopholes in the Bill to provide tenants with enhanced protection and security.

That includes extending the period during which new tenants are safeguarded from ‘no fault’ eviction from six months to two years.

The charity also recommends implementing measures to ensure that landlords claiming to sell a property cannot quickly re-let it.


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Comments

Desmond

7:23 AM, 16th June 2023, About 9 months ago

Yet another charity with no regard for the trade descriptions act. Not content with giving advice to citizens, they feel the need to lobby on policy agenda, once again funded by the taxpayer to do so.

Ian Narbeth

10:06 AM, 16th June 2023, About 9 months ago

This Government has implemented what tenants’ organisations and charities have asked for. It has imposed numerous regulations, interfered with freedom of contract and used vilifying language when talking about landlords. In consequence many landlords have stopped renting. This reduces supply and pushes up rents as the tenants seeking advice from the CAB have found.
The Renters Reform Bill doubles down on failed policies. I predict it will make matters worse not better for tenants and worse for decent landlords. The only beneficiaries will be bad landlords who don’t care whether they are in breach of 5 laws or 50 but welcome the increase in rents.
Life is undoubtedly tough for many tenants and there are undoubtedly some unscrupulous landlords. (There are many unscrupulous and dishonest tenants too.) The problem that Matthew Upton fails to recognise is that stopping landlords from recovering their properties for two years when they want to live in them means that fewer properties will be available.
I am a professional landlord and intend to rent out long term. Contrast professional landlords with an owner moving abroad or to another part of the country for a job may well want to return to live in his house and if the job does not work out so he needs to return or circumstances change and he wants to sell, a two year wait may be devastating. Result? Properties that might otherwise have been rented out will not be. Owners loses out because they receive no income and have to cover bills and tenants lose out because there a re fewer properties available to rent.
Please think again Mr Upton.

LordOf TheManor

10:37 AM, 16th June 2023, About 9 months ago

Citizens Advice’s research reveals that 48% of renters who have faced eviction were told that their landlord intended to sell up.

Well, what a surprise!!!

It's well established since the days of the first Rugg report that a huge part of the PRS is run as a cottage industry with most of these landlords letting just one or two properties, likely to have been their former home.

With the days of cheap finance over and the government decimating CGT on the sale of rented property - triggering a perfect storm for renters - now's the ideal time for many small landlords to leave the market.

It's action and re-action. Not rocket science at all!

I hope CAB didn't spend any tax-payers money on this survey. It's bad enough that they've wasted their time reporting it - and acting surprised about the findings - well, really???

If they have 'landlord selling up' stories on auto-repeat and coming in at such a prolific rate, why aren't they flagging this up to the incumbent Housing Minister?

It's within the CAB's gift to draw the government's attention to the very real consequences that they are reporting on with these tenant statistics.

If they are genuinely concerned, they should be lobbying the government to debrief the policy change on CGT and have it look at measures that would encourage landlords to stay in the market for the foreseeable future.

Dylan Morris

10:38 AM, 16th June 2023, About 9 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 16/06/2023 - 10:06Under the Rent Reform Act fixed term tenancies won’t exist. So somebody for example moving away for another job or a relocation, will not be able to rent out their property for a fixed term of say a year or two. If they do rent it out in order to obtain possession as they want to move back in themselves, without Section 21 they will be forced to go through the Court process which is very costly (especially as a specialist eviction firm will likely need to be appointed) and the process will take years due to the huge increase in case numbers the Courts are going to have to deal with. So in reality it cannot be done.

Ian Narbeth

10:46 AM, 16th June 2023, About 9 months ago

"In the past year, it says that 1.8 million households have faced rent hikes or threats of an increase, resulting in 300,000 renters losing their homes.
The charity’s findings reveal that less (sic) than 10% of renters who contested a rent increase were successful."
Which means that on an objective view over 90% of rent increases were justified. What loophole is there to close? The loophole of reality: that if you reduce the supply of something and make it more expensive to be supplied, the price goes up?
I am not for a second blaming or criticising tenants who are finding life tough. I just wish politicians and lobbyists would stop attacking the people they say they want to help alleviate the country's housing problems.

Dylan Morris

11:21 AM, 16th June 2023, About 9 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 16/06/2023 - 10:46
Or ……... “in the past year 1.8 million households have had a pay increase”

LL Minion

13:27 PM, 16th June 2023, About 9 months ago

In the past year, it says that 1.8 million households have faced rent hikes or threats of an increase, resulting in 300,000 renters losing their homes.

faced rent hikes = annual rent increase as LEGALLY allowed.

threats of an increase = landlords have given them the required LEGAL notice

loosing their home = refused to pay/could not pay LEGAL possession enacted by the LL as a result of breach of tenant contract to pay the rent OR tenant gave notice and moved elsewhere cheaper.

LL Minion

13:29 PM, 16th June 2023, About 9 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Dylan Morris at 16/06/2023 - 10:38
so they leave it empty and no one rents it at all as they cant be assured they can move back into it their own property themselves at the end of their work contracted period. That causes another one less rental property available (even if only short term)

Blodwyn

13:41 PM, 16th June 2023, About 9 months ago

Not sure if this is part of the CAB remit but it may help if they grumble at the Bank of England and stupid politicians. Take your pick, start with Truss, move on to Mayor Shah of London, oblivious to reality?

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