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Shelter claims s21 eviction court proceedings hit seven-year high 

New Ministry of Justice data shows that between July and September 8,399 landlords in England started Section 21 no fault eviction court proceedings against their tenants.

Shelter claims this is the highest number for seven years.   

The campaigning charity says this should spur the government into action and prevent any further delay the implementation of the Renters Reform Bill and the scrapping of Section 21. 


The latest figures also show 2,307 households were removed from their homes by bailiffs as a result of a Section 21 eviction, the highest number in four and a half years.   

Shelter claims Section 21 evictions are a major contributing factor to rising homelessness. It says the most recent homelessness stats found that section 21 evictions resulted in 24,260 households being threatened with homelessness in 2022/23 – up by 23 per cent compared to the previous 12 months. 

Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Shelter, says: “It beggars belief that this government is prepared to use cynical tactics to delay the banning of no-fault evictions, while record numbers of renters are being removed from their homes without cause.   

“Renters have waited four long years for the government to come good on scrapping Section 21, to make that now dependent on unspecified court reforms taking place is ludicrous. Renters shouldn’t have to live for one more day with the fear they can be evicted from their home for no reason, knowing that once that notice lands on their doormat, there is nothing they can do. 

“With homelessness at record levels, there’s no excuse for putting the ban on unfair no fault evictions on ice. If the government plans to keep its promises to England’s 11 million private renters, it must give a clear timeline of when it will pass the Bill and enforce the ban.” 

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  • icon

    How many of these evictions are because Landlords are being taxed out of existence?
    How many because the landlord is too squeamish to have a conversation with tenants about quite how much a rent increase would need to be to remain viable?

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    I agree Section 21 is a Major Contributing factor to Homelessness, not because of its existence but because of its Removal.
    Well done Shelter CEO for tightening the noose around your own neck, confirming the damage you caused, which is self evident to anyone who is not brain dead.
    Just imagine The Renter’s Reform Bill by Housing Secretary Michael Gove to Remove Section 21 being pushed on by Shelter. Generation Rent and Acorn etc has caused the highest number of Evictions / Homeless in four and a half years, its a disgrace how dare Polly CEO of Shelter to promote so much Homelessness.
    At a time landlords are doing their best to keep a roof over peoples heads in very difficult circumstances.
    So for all you backers of the RRB & Removal of Section 21 that has contributed to the worst housing Crisis and homelessness situation to my memory of being 45 years a landlord.
    Shame on you.


    Well said Michael.
    Shelter should be banned by this Government. They are not fit to represent the tenants they say they are here to represent.
    Shame on them indeed.

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    I used S21 due to the ‘use it or lose it’ scenario. That was one reason in itself. How there are many other reasons to use it to. Mainly the RRB. Then you have irresponsible Labour who could well win and cause further catastrophies.


    Me too - had two lots of tenants who were problematic but when I knew I had S21 I was prepared to just keep an eye on the situation. Knowing I would lose S21 and I might not be able to get tenants to leave if I needed to made me take action.

    I am getting an unprecedented number of enquiries at the moment fron peoplw whose LLs are selling up.

    Shelter et al refuse to look at why S21 s have gone thru the roof! I guess it would not fit with their narrative.

  • John  Adams

    What happened to the rules around Charities staying out of Politics?
    As others have said, they've let bad/difficult tenants stay up until now but knowing you could be stuck with them for ever has naturally become a cull.
    Had Shelter had a bit of sense, and said why don't we put a rent freeze on Section 21 for 6 months+, so that it's not being used as just away to increase rents, then maybe would have made little more sense, but as any one who is actually a Landlord knows S21 is used primarily to get rid of rent arrears, trashy tenants and not just for fun, having a void is a pain in the bottom line, not amusement.

    Richard LeFrak

    John, they play politics because it's business. Irrespective of the way they go about it money is the driver of this.

    At this point they should have the charitable status removed and these high earning elite metropolitan jockeys should be forced to do proper work. I have yet to see shelter literally put a shelter over anyones head....

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    The huge, new and immediate problem is that Labour has said that they will abolish Section 21 as soon as they take power - and that that is just the start of their giving tenants more rights.

    Therefore many landlords will seek to have their properties empty by May 2024 when the next General Election could take place. A very large percentage of landlords will not continue to let if their tenants will have security of tenure.

    If Labour does have any genuine regard for tenants they will adopt and publicise urgently a more sensible and fairer plan which will prevent a surge in Section 21 notices now and which will also allow the private rental sector to continue indefinitely. The Conservatives didn't listen initially to landlords - the major stakeholders in the private rental sector - and that has been their biggest mistake.

    Richard LeFrak

    Agreed Ellie, the drama it has caused meant Gove started rowing back. The clown should have spoken to landlords and got both sides. He didn't he spoke to Fake Beadles About and made sure his student portfolio was looked after.


    Peter, Ben Beadle said there was no objection to tenants acquiring security of tenure. Unfortunately, history shows that most landlords DO have a problem with that - and huge numbers will not let under those circumstances. I recall vividly what happened in the past.

  • Peter Lewis

    So Shelters Polly Neate calls it “unfair no fault eviction's”, and Landlords call it “no fault eviction's”. I call it being able to spend my money and do what i want with my own property.
    If Shelter think that the housing crisis is bad now, just wait until they try to control rents, or allow private tenants the “right to buy” rented properties at discounted rates.
    Do they not realise if it hadn’t been for “ Right to buy “ that there would be millions of more social homes available to rent in the UK today.

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    So Polly Bleat supports banning S21. The “Conservative” government reacts by proposing to ban it. Landlords respond by selling their properties. Polly reacts by attacking landlords again. Can she not follow the events and understand cause and effect rather than quote statistics?


    Probably can. But on £150k a year why change tactics. Renters love her :) If only they knew...

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    So when the PRS is no more and there are insufficient properties available Polly Neate will be happy as this is what she wants is it, LLs are selling due to mortgage rate hikes and tax implications along with the fact that they are not prepared to invest in property anymore when their rights are being taken away.


    Nope. She'll be out of a job as No-Shelter will no longer be able to justify it's existence as all those tenants will be happily housed in houses provided by the Unicorn Housing Company. There'll be another waste of time job waiting for her in some other "charity" however so she can carry on Bleating at some other poor group of citizens

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    • A JR
    • 10 November 2023 09:45 AM

    Shelters classic ‘out of context’ propaganda. We know there are circa 9-11 million tenants housed by the PRS. I am no mathematician and may have this wrong, but given the Shelters figure of 2307 have actually been evicted, I believe equates to less than 0000.3 of the total, based on 9 million housed. So, in proper context the number is minuscule to the point of near irrelevance. Context matters!

    Nic  Kaz

    Great point but alas ‘tiny percentage affected by section 21’ is not a headline the press will run with…

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    • L C
    • 10 November 2023 10:08 AM

    Ironically most of these s21 notices would have been served by landlords due the pending scrapping of them and landlords therefore wanting to sell before shhh hits the fan.


    And also before labour get into power


    @ Andrew - Labour and what they could do, worries me more than this "conservative" government abolishing S21.

  • Nic  Kaz

    When will all politicians look at the real world instead of promoting wishful thinking? Of course it would be marvellous if everyone had a long term home at low rent, where section 21 was not a vital tool. But PRS landlords will never be able to supply that Nirvana and neither will councils, because land and buildings and maintenance are all very expensive. Trying to legislate PRS into being altruistic rather than profitable will make private rentals disappear faster than new build social housing has…

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    Surely by the time you use Section 21 the tenant has broken the tenant agreement. You have asked the tenant to leave, giving the appropriate notice, and they don't leave. The landlord has followed the rules and the tenant hasn't. So every section 21 issued is because the tenant broke the contract. If every tenant followed the rules, no section 21 would be issued.

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    John you are 100% correct and the Council telling them to breach, no wonder they Courts are clogged.
    Also the abolishing of the marriage unit replaced by the explosion of the Single Parent family because of all the obvious advantages but it won’t make me popular to tell the truth, no one posting any data on this, certainly not probably a party to it themselves.
    Ah the bedroom tax on Social housing the family has flown so I see a person in a 3 bed house with penalty bedroom tax that’s costing the person £30.
    pr pm as I understand it and have the room rented to 2 people so I’ll leave you to figure it out for yourself.
    Section 21 is the very foundation of all Private letting before which there wasn’t any, do you not get that only fools like me and the rent officer 4/- per week. Only a hand full of letting Agents in all of London. Now probably 2 dozen in every Borough and that’s something, plus all this on line scams Rent 2 Rent, lease purchase option Scam, digital Academics making a monkey out of traditional landlord who are not very well up on computers, rent the house from landlord then let it on Airbnb.

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    Sorry, but I feel all these figures are pointless unless we know the reasons behind the service of the section 21's. Because let's be honest, all landlords I know certainly have a reason for serving it. Be it rent arrears, anti social behaviour or just wanting to sell the property. No one randomly gives notice to their tenant for no reason. And the fact that tenants had to be removed by bailiffs makes me believe the reason is highly likely to be rent arrears.

  • David Saunders

    Polly ain't seen nuffin yet, todays Section 21s being issued are no more than a stream compared to the flood it will turn into the closer we get to the General Election.

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    Steff Mc Ginn, of Course we know the reason for serving Section 21, it’s end of Contract and the Tenants should leave otherwise what’s the point of having a Contract. We serve the 2 months notice first so there is no doubt we want our property back , (save by a mutual agreement by both parties to continue) no ifs ands or buts no one’s business what we might do with our own property. Where were they when I had 7 /8 hundred thousand £ debt around my neck, did they want to know or queuing up to bail me out ?. Why are people now thinking or assuming they should have any claim to my property or why should I have to justify myself to any busy body nosey Parker.
    Now Regarding why S.21 is served its because they didn’t leave when the 2 months notice expired, generally because Sheltered, Citizens Advice or the Council told them to stay put in breach of Contract. Therefore S21 had to be served to get our property back. However the Council’s decide to frustrate the process telling Tenants to remain until a Court Order is granted. Therefore it the local Authorities that are Responsible for clogging up the Courts. MS Steff Mc Ginn now do you know the reason Sorry if I didn’t make myself clear.
    Yours sincerely spitting bullets.


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