More at risk of losing homes in Northamptonshire as charity calls to stop ‘blunt, brutal and indiscriminate’ no-fault evictions

Shelter chief warns: ‘Landlords can turf people out for no reason and tenants are powerless to do anything about it’

By Will Grimond, Data Reporter
Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 8:56 am

More households are being threatened with homelessness through no-fault evictions in Northamptonshire than before the Covid-19 pandemic, new figures show.

Landlords can evict tenants through a section 21 notice giving as little as eight weeks’ notice to leave — sometimes without reason — once the fixed term in their tenancy agreement expires.

Ministers have pledged reforms but campaigners claim these "no-fault" evictions are contributing to a homelessness crisis.

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More people are at risk of being evicted from homes in Northamptonshire as landlords cash in on rising property prices and rents

Data from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities shows 59 households in Northamptonshire — 39 in West Northamptonshire and 20 in the North of the county — were made homeless or put at risk of homelessness between October and December last year after being served with section 21 notices.

This was four more than the number in October to December of 2019 in the county, before the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Across England, 5,260 households faced homelessness due to no-fault evictions in the last three months of 2021, a 37 percent rise compared to 2019.

Shelter, a charity working to end homelessness, has described no-fault evictions as “blunt, brutal and indiscriminate."

Chief executive, Polly Neate, said: “Landlords can turf people out of their homes for no reason and tenants are powerless to do anything about it.”

The same government data shows, in total, 485 households were homeless in Northamptonshire between October and December — 294 in the West and 191 in the North — compared to 392 two years ago.

Alicia Kennedy, director of the housing campaign group Generation Rent, said a booming property market is to blame.

She said: "Landlords are cashing in on surging house prices and rents by selling up or replacing tenants with people who can afford to pay more.

"The cost of this upheaval is falling on the tenants and stretched local authorities.”

She said the government “must act” to provide a more stable rental market.

According to the same figures, 8,530 households in England were supported by councils last autumn because their landlord was evicting them to sell or re-let – including 111 households in Northamptonshire.

A Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities spokesperson said it was bringing forward reforms to help renters, including ending no-fault evictions.

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