28 Apr 2022

Shelter’s latest accusations about private landlords and evictions have been slammed as “scaremongering.”

The charity claims that a private renter in England is handed a Section 21 eviction every seven minutes. It says almost 230,000 private tenants have been served with a S21 since the government first committed to scrap this form of eviction in April 2019. 

And it adds that this is despite an eviction ban being in place for 14 months of this three-year period due to the pandemic.   

However Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, is sharply critical of the claims.

“Shelter needs to stop its campaign of scaremongering. The vast majority of landlords do not spend their time plotting ways to get rid of their tenants for no reason” he says.

“Official data shows that fewer than 10 per cent of tenants who move do so because they are asked to by their landlord or letting agent. Likewise, the number of cases coming to court as a result of Section 21 notices has been falling since 2015.

“The government has committed to abolishing Section 21 possessions, but this has got to be replaced by a system that is both fair and workable for both tenants and landlords. 

“Simply getting rid of Section 21 on its own would, for example, make it all but impossible to take action against anti-social tenants who blight the lives of neighbours and fellow tenants.”

He adds that the NRLA has published its detailed plans for a new system that strikes what he calls “the right balance” and he wants to work with Shelter constructively.

Yesterday Polly Neate, Shelter chief executive, appeared to want a more aggressive approach against landlords, saying: “Millions of private renters are living in limbo – never truly able to settle – in case their landlord kicks them out on a whim. 

“It’s a well-founded fear as our frontline services support renters all the time who are scrambling to find a home after being told to up sticks with just two months’ notice.  

“With inflation and bills skyrocketing, renters desperately need a secure home as many will struggle to stump up the costs of having to move unexpectedly. 

“To give private renters stability during a time of deep uncertainty, the government must introduce a Renters’ Reform Bill that bans no-fault evictions this year. Anything less would be a kick in the teeth for England’s 11 million private renters.”

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