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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Hardline activists claim over 600,000 evictions using Section 21

The hardline activist group Acorn - part of the Renters Reform Coalition involving Generation Rent - now claims that some 600,000 renters have been evicted since the Tories pledged to scrap Section 21.

Acorn’s Eviction Tracker, a new website set up over the weekend, says more than 1,625 days have elapsed since the Conservatives first pledged to abolish Section 21.

It claims that since that time some 84,000 tenants have been taken to court by their landlord after failing to leave their home by the end of their Section 21 notice period.

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It then says: “Given that the vast majority of tenants do leave by the end of their notice period, 84,000 represents a small fraction of the total number of ‘no fault’ evictions. Surveys are the only reliable way of calculating the true figure.

“Housing charity Shelter calculated that 188,000 family households have been evicted since April 2019. Family households represent 31 per cent of all households who rent. Therefore we can extrapolate by that number to predict that more than 600,000 renter households have been evicted in total.”

On its own website, Acorn says it is no longer relying on politicians and says: “This is why Acorn members have, this summer, stepped up our eviction resistance game. The act of people linking arms to stop a bailiff kicking out a fellow Acorn member from their home powerfully illustrates the principles of community and solidarity that underpin our work.”

It cites examples from Coventry, Bristol, Birmingham, Huddersfield and Southwark where what it calls ”heroic actions” by its members have “saved” tenants from Section 21 evictions.

In one such example it claims: “In Coventry, members joined together to support fellow members Mandy and Billy who received a Section 21 notice to leave their home - a type of eviction would be outlawed under the proposed Bill. They asked their landlord for a short reprieve to give them time to find another home, but were denied. Members quickly assembled a plan, and turned out on the day of eviction, standing together to stop the bailiff in his tracks. It worked, buying Mandy and Billy the time to find another place.”

And Acorn goes on to say: “Each act of eviction resistance is organised by members, for members. It is not a service, it is solidarity, with members who receive support going on to take direct action to support others when they need it. Like a trade union picket line, it is a tactic that enables victory, and an education for members in using strength in numbers against a powerful target.”

Acorn is a prominent and outspoken member of the Renters Reform Coalition which consists of some 20 organisations campaigning for, amongst other things, a beefed up version of the Renters Reform Bill. 

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    Just 600k …. 🤔😀 not as many as I had thought 😜, we need to up our game.

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    FAO Peter Maverick..
    You are absolutely right.. I am in favour of some
    rental reform... Eg periodic tenancies being longer but turning all tenancies into life (assured tenancies) is madness.. As you are aware, many LL's are quitting the market and remaining LL's will become enormously fussy. This will discrimate against the poor, young, immigrants and others who cannot provide impeccable references or wealthy guarantors.. (albeit I can see rent guarantors being later banned too!).. We need to get our message across. NRLA are useless.. Do you have any ideas...? I can only think of writing to MPs and contacting Media.

     
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    There seem to be various definitions of exactly what a Section 21 eviction is. Do they mean the receipt of a Section 21 notice or do they mean the bailiffs physically ejecting them? Or is it somewhere between those points?

    A Section 21 notice is used for various reasons and not all of them result in someone losing their home unexpectedly. Or losing their home at all.
    Sometimes a Section 21 notice is issued to remind tenants their fixed term tenancy is coming to an end. It may in reality be an invitation to discuss renewing the tenancy.
    Sometimes they are issued to indicate the landlords displeasure that the tenant has chosen to spend the rent money on something else (possibly a holiday with his mates or a three legged donkey at Haydock). If the rent is brought up to date quickly it's entirely possible no further action will be taken, especially if the tenant is usually a sensible, reasonable human being. Sometimes Section 21 notices can be genuinely helpful to get lower priority creditors to back off and give a breathing space to allow the tenant to get his finances back on track. The common thread is that it is step one of a process. Step two can't be taken until 2 months after step one. Step two doesn't automatically have to be taken at all but by issuing the S21 notice we give ourselves options.

    There doesn't seem to be much information on how many Section 21 evictions should really be Section 8 fault based evictions. Or how many are because the landlord has decided to sell up and retire or has died. Or how many are because the property was only ever going to be available while the owner worked away on a fixed term employment contract. It needs to be remembered the PRS is very fragmented. As landlords we have a whole range of ideas, preferences and business models. Equally there are numerous different types of tenants. Activists seem to get one idea in their heads and think it applies to the whole PRS when in reality almost nothing universally applies.

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    Absolutely right - the rent pressure groups seem to be fixated on making private renting indistinguishable from social housing, as if one size fits all. It is probably the result of ever larger numbers of people who would have been in social housing for years on end finding themselves relying on the PRS which in its current form was designed around flexibility for both landlords and tenants and never intended for guaranteed long term tenure.
    Whether the PRS can make this transition without massive upheaval remains to be seen, but what is certain is that landlords will have to be very ruthless about who they take in order to protect themselves in a hostile environment, and rents will keep going up as investment dries up and rentals become harder and harder to come by.
    Tenants who are evicted for fault via section 8 will have next to no chance of getting accommodation of any kind other than temporary housing, so it will be an absolute nightmare for them. And tenants will no longer be able to ask landlords for a section 21 so that they can get a council house.

     
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    You are absolutely right... But we landlords need to get that info "out there"... I urge all landlords to write to their MP's, contact "Talkradio", write to newspapers... Even spreading the word to colleagues and associates would be useful.

     
  • John  Adams

    When you have "Charities" like Oxfam jumping on the political bandwagon why would anyone expect the facts to get in the way.
    I wonder what all these groups are going to do when Labour doesn't actually deliver Utopia? Don't get me wrong there is much wrong with the Government and the disconnect with the working population but as can be seen by the widespread breakdown of society in California & New York because of the kinds of policies these folk want to push we have a difficult period of reeducation of these activists ahead.

  • John Wathen

    Oh well, never mind, thanks to their actions & those like them there soon won’t be a PRS for them to get upset about!

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    Sorry they forgot the fact’s 600’000 needlessly Evicted because of Mr Michael Gove’s Draconian Renter’s Reform Bill Congratulations Michael that’s worth a Knighthood.

  • jeremy clarke

    Another finger in the air, think of a number "survey" that means absolutely nothing.
    Listening to our 3 year old granddaughter counting to 20 last week, she missed out number 18. Still got to 20, or was it 19? Using Acorn's criteria, she probably counted to 55!

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    Rents are rising sharply in west London now. Landlords leaving the sector in droves. RRB,ending section 21, section 24, selective licencing, maintenance costs, inflation, paperwork including government booklet, deposit protection, prescribed information and t&C, inventory, agents fees and not forgetting void expenses.
    Hands up who wants to be a landlord ?

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    But did Mandy and Billy find another LL mug enough to rent to them?

  • Peter Why Do I Bother

    Acorn predicting is a bit like Michael The Fish predicting the storm ain't a coming....! All Wind and P1ss...!

    Also RRB and S24&S21 means the government are to blame not landlords.

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    Would Acorn help the tenants pay the rent so they would not be evicted?

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    That's assuming payment was the issue.
    In cases where payment is the problem it's always worth applying for a Discretionary Housing Payment. It's far more cost effective for Local Authorities to help keep someone in their home than to find and fund an alternative if they get evicted.

     
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    Homeless charities are to blame for a lot these sec 21 notices. They only have themselves to blame. There have always been rogue Landlords and Tenants but Renter's Reform Bill is NOT the answer.

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    Seems like the homeless 'charities' policies to increase their client membership base are working and they creating more and more homelessness people.

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    You have to ask whether the leaders of these organisations against S21 are stupid or whether they just think their supporter base is stupid and wants to hear this? I think the later which makes them not only immoral but hypocrites!

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    I support both Dogs Trust and Cats Protection. I have now contacted both advising then that I can no longer support them while they support an organosation that exists to harass me.

     
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