Nearly 6,000 landlords in England launched court cases against tenants in the first three months of 2022 after serving them a so-called ‘no-fault’ eviction notice, figures show.
Between January and March, around 5,890 landlords filed requests for expedited processing after issuing a Section 21 notice to tenants, according to figures released by the Department of Justice (MoJ) on Thursday.
That’s 63% up from the previous quarter and 41% up from the same period in 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic.
A total of 18,626 eviction lawsuits from social and private landlords were brought to court in the first three months of 2022.
This is a 32% increase from the last three months of 2021, but down about a fifth from the same period in 2020.
When the 2020 pandemic hit, measures were put in place to protect tenants in the private rental system from losing their homes.
This included a temporary ban on evictions, which was lifted from May 2021.
The MoJ said bailiffs are working through the backlog of takeback claims and other actions dating back to the beginning of the pandemic and the numbers are expected to be “steady on the rise” throughout the year.
The government first pledged to end innocent evictions in 2019.
Earlier this month, the Queen said in her speech that she would introduce a Renters Reform Bill to protect private renters and end no-fault evictions.
Shelter chief executive Polly Neate said every minute wasted puts another tenant at risk.
She said: “It is alarming that amid the cost of living crisis, more and more landlords are evicting tenants from their homes.
“These are real people whose lives are being turned upside down and who just can’t afford to lose their homes right now.”
Ameera, 47, and her four children are facing homelessness after being served a Section 21 eviction notice.
They have been told to vacate the house they have lived in in Sussex for four years by the end of June, but Ameera is concerned she will not pass rental checks based on her creditworthiness.
She said: “My anxiety is skyrocketing and the uncertainty of this situation is affecting my children as well.
“There is so little real estate available and my son needs to be close to his school because of his learning disability.
“I don’t know how we can find anywhere else in such a short time or how I can afford it.”
Crisis chief executive Matt Downie said it was “unacceptable” that the government was allowing more people to be evicted from their homes.
He said: “As families across the country struggle to keep their roofs over their heads, government inaction over soaring energy, rent and food costs means more and more people are being drawn into this crisis.
“In order to prevent an unimaginable number of people from being pushed into homelessness, we urge the government to honor its commitment to remove Section 21 notices through no fault of their own as soon as possible and to repeal housing benefit to allow real people to live Cost covers rent.
“More jitters and delays will result in more households being forced to make impossible decisions as their budgets are squeezed to the breaking point.”
A spokesman for the National Residential Landlords Association said: “Given the backlog of the take-back ban during the pandemic, it was inevitable that the cases heard by the courts in both the private and public housing sectors would increase.
“It is vital that such cases are now dealt with in a timely manner and in a manner that is fair to both tenants and responsible landlords.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/moj-government-ministry-of-justice-england-bill-b2083596.html Rise in landlord tenure claims after no-fault eviction notices are served