Croydon Council has become the first local authority to support calls to scrap the so-called ‘no fault’ evictions in order to give renters greater power and security.
The council wants central government to abolish Section 21 notices, which enables a landlord to provide notice to their tenant to start the process of ending their Assured Shorthold Tenancy.
The full council passed a motion this week to become the first authority to formally back the End Unfair Evictions campaign, which is headed up by Generation Rent, the London Renters Union, ACORN and the New Economics Foundation.
Alison Butler, Croydon Council cabinet member for Homes & Gateway Services and deputy leader, who proposed the motion, said: “The biggest cause of homelessness in Croydon is evictions in the private rental sector.
“With Croydon having lost around 70% of its budget since 2010, we are struggling to deal with the scale of this problem, and it is unacceptable that private landlords are able to evict vulnerable tenants so easily, leaving the public sector to pick up the bill.”
In his speech to the Labour party conference in Liverpool last month, shadow housing secretary, John Healey, also expressed his support for scrapping Section 21.
In response, Richard Lambert, CEO of the National Landlords Association (NLA), pointed out that many private landlords resort to Section 21 notices because the alternative procedures take too long to process through the courts.
He commented: “The proposals don’t address the real reason that the section 21 no fault possession process is used so much, which is that the courts are so overloaded that the preferred section 8 procedure, citing grounds for ending the tenancy, has become uncertain, time consuming and expensive.
“If Labour really wanted to make a difference in how the private rented sector works, it should tackle the causes of the problems, not the symptoms.”