9:29 AM, 9th February 2024, About 3 weeks ago 18
The housing charity Shelter has condemned the government for ‘bowing to vested interests’ and delaying the implementation of the Renters (Reform) Bill, which would ban section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions.
It points to Ministry of Justice figures revealing that 9,457 households were evicted by bailiffs in 2023, a 49% increase from 2022.
Also, 30,230 landlords started Section 21 eviction proceedings in 2023, a 28% rise in one year.
Shelter’s chief executive, Polly Neate, 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?”
She added: “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.”
Ms Neate continued: “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.”
She says that despite promising to end no-fault evictions in 2019, the government has failed to protect thousands of renters from losing their homes.
Ms Neate adds that 26,311 households in England have been evicted by court bailiffs using Section 21 since the government announced its intention to scrap it.
Shelter says that Section 21 evictions are a ‘major cause of homelessness’ as many renters struggle to find a new home in time and face the risk of sleeping on the streets.
It also says that the Bill was published in May 2023, but the government has said it will only introduce it after unspecified court reforms take place.
The charity is now calling on the government to honour its promise to renters and bring forward the Renters (Reform) Bill as soon as possible, without any dilution or delay.
It is also urging the public to sign its petition and join its campaign to end no-fault evictions for good.
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