The Baroness who leads the Generation Rent campaign group says landlords are currently “able to evict tenants just for requesting repairs or on other spurious grounds.”
Baroness Alicia Kennedy makes the claim in a statement accompanying the release of new research from her group.
It says scrapping landlords’ Section 21 eviction powers could reduce homelessness by nine per cent and save £161m in taxpayers’ money annually.
“The government’s commitment to abolishing Section 21 means that landlords will no longer be able to evict tenants just for requesting repairs or on other spurious grounds. But without further protections tenants could still face hardship and homelessness if their landlord decides to sell up” says Baroness Kennedy.
“It cannot be right for a housing provider to leave their customer in the lurch and expect tenants and taxpayers to pick up the bill. Renters can never enjoy a stable life if they can have the rug pulled from under them, so the government’s reforms must make sure renters get proper support during unwanted moves” she continues.
Generation Rent claims that since April 2018 “68,430 households have faced homelessness after their landlord evicted them to sell or re-let the property or in retaliation for a complaint.”
It wants changes to the law to order landlords who wish to sell “to compensate their tenants for a blameless home move” and “ban evictions where landlords simply wished to replace their tenants or avoid responding to a complaint.”
It is also demanding open ended tenancies, greater time for renters to find a new home, and a broad desire to see “no excessive rent increases to force an eviction.”
This morning's statement from the group makes no reference to government figures, announced to the House of Lords by junior housing and communities minister Lord Greenhalgh who said late last week: “We have actually seen a massive drop in the number of repossession cases. It decreased to 262 repossessions in January to March 2021—a reduction of some 96 per cent—and 214 local authorities had no landlord repossessions at all.”
Instead, Generation Rent claims that what it calls “unfair evictions” directly cost councils £161m in 2019-20 through responding to 28,150 homelessness cases and housing an estimated 8,057 households who had been evicted unfairly in temporary accommodation.
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