Hackney Labour Party is calling on the Government to abolish Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions without delay, and has pledged to work with Generation Rent, in support of their Unfair Evictions Campaign.

“Section 21 evictions are now the single biggest cause of homelessness in England,” said Cllr Sem Moema who is proposing a motion for the next Full Council meeting in February.

“Homeless applications in Hackney have increased significantly recently and we are seeing a mounting number of families in temporary accommodation and people rough sleeping.”

The loss of private rented accommodation is a leading cause of homelessness in Hackney she said.

 

   [Photo: Sean Pollock]

Cllr Caroline Woodley, supporting the motion added: “The abolition of Section 21 would go a long way to making renting more secure for tenants in the private rented sector in Hackney.”

Alongside tackling homelessness, abolishing Section 21 no-fault evictions would help improve standards and increase tenants’ confidence.

Most of England’s 11 million renters are on tenancies with fixed terms of six months or a year; after this period has ended, landlords can evict their tenants with just two months’ notice, without giving them a reason.

These ‘no fault evictions’ were introduced under Section 21 of the 1988 Housing Act, introduced during the Tory Government of Margaret Thatcher. Before this, renters had much greater security and it was difficult for landlords to evict tenants who paid the rent on time and looked after the property.

Generation Rent say: “Renters are not just a convenient source of income – they are people who need a home. If the government scrapped Section 21 and gave more protection to the tenant, it would discourage landlords from selling up or churning their properties, give tenants more of stake in their home, and more confidence to make requests.”

https://www.generationrent.org/end_section_21

See also a Hackney Gazette report: https://www.hackneygazette.co.uk/news/hackney-labour-party-generation-rent-campaign-end-section-21-no-fault-evictions-private-tenants-1-5868667?fbclid=IwAR3HptTiZdDfrGIVaAOG_0ak87iNymXnkG5MTqYFYyWsqr5yNvCn1TRslrM

Draft motion for Council

Abolish Section 21, ‘no-fault’ evictions, a leading cause of homelessness

The Council notes:

  • That most of England’s 11 million renters are on tenancies with fixed terms of six months or a year; after this period has ended, landlords can evict their tenants with just two months’ notice, without giving them a reason. These ‘no fault evictions’ were introduced under Section 21 of the 1988 Housing Act; before this, renters had much greater security and it was difficult for landlords to evict tenants who paid the rent on time and looked after the property.
  • That on Sunday August 19th, research published by campaign group Generation Rent shows that Section 21 evictions are now the single biggest cause of homelessness in England.
  • In Hackney, the number of homeless applications has increased significantly in the current year, as have the numbers placed in temporary accommodation and who are rough sleeping. The loss of private rented accommodation is a leading cause of homelessness in Hackney.
  • Around one third of Hackney’s households live in the private rented sector. ‘No fault’ evictions put all private tenants in a position of having little security of tenure, and put tenants at risk of ‘retaliatory’ evictions if they raise complaints about the condition of their property or behaviour of the landlord.
  • In 2017, the Scottish government made tenancies indefinite and banned no-fault evictions under the terms of the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016. Landlords can still regain possession of their property, but must make a justifiable and evidenced case through the courts according to grounds that are set out in law. Hackney supports this move towards longer and more sustainable tenancies.

The Council affirms:

  • Mass homelessness is a national disgrace, and removing its leading causes should be a priority for the Government.
  • Alongside tackling homelessness, abolishing Section 21 no-fault evictions would help to make renting more secure for all tenants in the private rented sector, including families and older people, as well as helping improve standards and increasing tenants’ confidence.

We resolve:

  • To call on the Government to abolish Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions without delay
  • To work with Generation Rent, in support of their Unfair Evictions Campaign

 

Proposer: Cllr Sem Moema

Seconder: Cllr Caroline Woodley

 

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