Generation Rent activists are back on the warpath, this time accusing councils of not doing enough - and sometimes nothing - to stop so-called retaliatory evictions.
Generation Rent claims it’s used the Freedom of Information Act to discover how many councils have taken enforcement action against so-called rogue landlords. The activists’ claims are made on the first anniversary of the closure of the official government consultation on proposals to abolish Section 21.
The group requested information on 102 local councils’ enforcement of housing standards in 2018-19.
The 81 councils that recorded the data found 11,801 severe (so-called Category 1) hazards and issued 2,898 improvement notices to the offending landlords - this represents 24.6 per cent of the cases.
If served, these notices give tenants six months’ protection from a Section 21 eviction, under the Deregulation Act 2015.
In total, the 100 councils that responded recorded 75,099 complaints about conditions in private rented homes.
Generation Rent names six councils which it says failed to issue a single improvement notice, “leaving tenants unprotected from a retaliatory eviction.”
These were Brighton & Hove, Calderdale, Kingston upon Thames, Southend on Sea, Tameside and Wigan.
Baroness Alicia Kennedy, the director of Generation Rent, says: “With courts reopening there is nothing to stop landlords from evicting tenants who have done nothing wrong.
“The government knows that Section 21 is a leading cause of homelessness among those who rent from a private landlord yet, despite being promised in the Queen’s Speech, we still have no idea when they will publish the Bill to abolish it.
“Boris Johnson cannot let another year go by with tenants being bullied into putting up with leaks and mould, or another 30,000 families being made homeless at their landlord’s whim.”
In an attack on government proposals recently outlined to help first time buyers, the Baroness continues: “The answer to the inadequacy of the rental market is not 95 per cent mortgages, but a whole package of measures that make it possible for anyone to make their long term home in it.”