A record number of people living in the UK are at risk of homelessness due to a surge in ‘no-fault’ evictions, according to a recent government report.
Around 6,400 households in England received eviction notices from landlords between January and March 2022, the highest number since records began in 2018.
“No fault” or “section 21” evictions are those where a landlord evicts their tenants without justification. They are still legal in the UK, although they are banned by many other European countries.
The latest figures mark an increase from the first quarter of 2020, in which 4,740 households received disclaimers and were forced to vacate their properties.
A family of nine Ukrainian refugees have found themselves on the brink of homelessness, after a ‘no-fault’ eviction forced them out of their rented home just weeks after arriving in the UK.
They were rejected by fifteen owners, despite raising more than £20,000 in donations via an online appeal.
“We have problems and money doesn’t solve the problem. We didn’t expect it to be a big problem because in Ukraine when you have money you can rent any house “, said Maxim Henryk, the father of the family. Independent.
The UK government plans to ban ‘no-fault’ evictions as part of its Tenant Reform Bill, first introduced in April 2019.
But, with the cabinet in crisis following the resignation of Boris Johnson and the ongoing leadership race, campaigners fear the current instability could undermine efforts to resolve the issue.
“It is deeply concerning that thousands of people are being forced from their homes and now face an anxious battle to find a new place to live, all at a time when rents are skyrocketing and people’s budgets are tight at the moment. breaking point,” said Matt Downie, chief executive of Crisis UK, a homeless charity.
“How much more hardship are we going to let endure? It is crucial that whoever becomes our new Prime Minister next month prioritizes the introduction of the Tenant Reform Bill, so that we can finally protect people from the trauma and turmoil that comes with being kicked out of your home at all times,” he added.
Around 60 tenants living in a housing estate in the south-west city of Exeter received ‘no-fault’ eviction notices earlier this month so the landlord company could carry out ‘essential’ renovations , which residents say are aimed at converting the property into lucrative student accommodation.
Studies by the UK Department of Leveling, Housing and Communities have also shown an increase in the number of households receiving council support to avoid falling into homelessness, with current figures standing at 74,230, an increase 10% compared to the last quarter of 2021.