01 May 24

The Generation Rent activist group has once again repeated its demand for a series of reforms surrounding the scrapping of Section 21 evictions grounds.

One of them is expecting landlords to pay towards moving costs for tenants.

In its latest statement the group claims: “If Section 21 had been abolished this time last year, 10,000 households who were evicted by their landlord seeking to re-let the property between April and December 2023 would not have faced homelessness. 

“However, 23,000 households faced homelessness in the same period because their landlord wanted to sell up. Under the Renters Reform Bill, this will continue to be a valid ground with tenants getting just two months’ notice to leave, and no financial support with the cost of moving.”

Chief executive Ben Twomey adds: “Abolition of Section 21 evictions has the potential to make a huge difference to renters’ lives and reduce the number of us who have to get our council’s help to avoid homelessness. 

“But the government’s current plans will leave tens of thousands of us exposed to homelessness because of the lack of protection when landlords still have a valid reason to evict us, like selling the property.

“Renters need more time to move than the two months we currently get, and landlords who are uprooting their tenants’ lives should support us with the costs of moving. That will both reduce the stress and hardship of an unwanted move, and reduce the homelessness epidemic that is currently shredding councils’ finances.”

The group says it is urging the government “to strengthen protections for renters when the House of Lords debates the Renters Reform Bill.”

Shelter is also blaming Section 21 for a substantial rise in homelessness, with chief executive Polly Neate issuing a statement saying: “The government cannot stand idly by while a generation of children have their lives blighted by homelessness.

“Decades of failure to build enough genuinely affordable social homes has left families struggling to cobble together extortionate sums every month to keep a roof over their heads. Those who can’t afford private rents are being thrown into homelessness and then left for months and even years in damaging temporary accommodation because there is nowhere else.

“With a General Election approaching, it’s time for all politicians to show voters they are serious about ending the housing emergency. To dramatically reduce homelessness, we need every party to commit to building 90,000 social homes a year for ten years, and an overhaul of the Renters (Reform) Bill so that it delivers genuine safety and security for private renters.”

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