There has been a surge in the number of renters seeking assistance with no-fault evictions, suggesting that landlords are rushing to move people out before new legislation comes into effect.
Laura Murphy, Paralegal in our Dispute Resolution team provides an update.
According to Citizens Advice, nearly 2,000 individuals sought help with section 21 evictions in May, the highest number recorded in a single month and a 25% increase since May 2022.
The renters’ reform bill, introduced by Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities, aims to ban the practice of no-fault evictions, impacting approximately 11 million private renters in the country.
In addition to the record number of evictions, the National Residential Landlords Association reports that a growing number of landlords are choosing to sell their properties due to rising mortgage interest rates.
“The main reason landlords are seeking possession of properties is that it is no longer viable to continue letting,” said Ben Beadle, the chief executive of the lobby group.
Citizens Advice conducted research revealing that 48% of previously evicted renters were informed by their landlords of their intention to sell the property.
The advice charity also expressed concerns over a potential “back-door eviction” route outlined in the current draft of the bill under consideration in Parliament.
This provision would allow landlords to evict tenants within six months of commencing a tenancy by claiming the intention to sell or relocate family members.
However, the proposed rules do not require landlords to provide evidence of following through on these claims after a tenant has vacated.
Matthew Upton, the acting executive director of policy and advocacy at Citizens Advice, said this could leave tenants vulnerable to exploitation by unscrupulous landlords.
A government spokesperson said any attempts to circumvent the law would not be tolerated, and that the proposed reforms would prevent the replication of section 21 through rent increases.
Landlords seeking possession through the courts would be required to substantiate their intent to sell or move themselves or their family members into the property.
To prevent exploitation of these grounds, landlords would be prohibited from remarketing or reletting properties for three months after using them.
For more information about the issues raised in this article, please contact Laura on 01228 516666 or click here to send her an email.