Government wrong to say Section 21 is leading cause homelessness, says NLA

Article Posted -
14 Aug 2019

Claims that landlords’ use of section 21 “no fault” eviction notices is the leading cause of homelessness in the UK are “factually incorrect, misleading and just plain wrong”, says the National Landlords Association (NLA) as they take their case to No. 10.

Research by the NLA, using the Government’s own statistics*, found that of 33,020 households assessed by local authorities between October and December 2018, just 11.8 percent (3,890) of those faced homelessness as a result of being served with a Section 21 notice.  

The same data also showed that the top reason for losing the last settled home was because family or friends were no longer willing or able to accommodate them, which accounted for over 15,000 households.

The second most prominent reason was the end of an assured shorthold private rented tenancy. This includes tenancies ended using the fault-based Section 8 and tenants abandoning the property, as well as Section 21. 29 percent of these tenancies were ended due to rent arrears.

Previous NLA research** has found that landlords resort to Section 21 primarily when their tenants fall into rent arrears or engage in antisocial behaviour.

Richard Lambert, CEO of the NLA, says:

“Claims by the Government and tenant support groups that Section 21 is the leading cause of homelessness are not supported by the available evidence. They are factually incorrect, misleading and just plain wrong. No reasonable landlord would seek to evict a tenant without good cause.

“Most evictions are a symptom of wider issues, such as the freeze on local housing allowance, insecure jobs, and the lack of support for vulnerable tenants to sustain private tenancies successfully.  The increase in the use of no-fault evictions through Section 21 is because landlords simply don’t have faith in the courts being able to deal with eviction cases, however justified their reason.

“That’s why we’re appealing directly to the Prime Minister to save section 21. Landlords are running businesses and have very few options when it comes to managing the risks they face. The focus should instead be on fixing the issues that contribute to this risk.”  

 

 

*MHCLG Initial Assessments of Statutory Homelessness Duties Owned

**Research conducted by YouGov Plc on behalf of the NLA. Total sample size was 3,088 Landlords in England and Wales. Fieldwork was undertaken between 21st - 27th December 2018.  The survey was carried out online. 

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