700,000 renters are estimated to have been served with “no-fault” eviction notices since the start of the pandemic, despite a government promise to scrap the practice with the announcement that “private landlords will no longer be able to evict tenants from their homes at short notice and without good reason”. The renters’ reform bill, which promised to abolish no-fault evictions, was announced in the last Queen’s speech in December 2019 but has not yet been delivered.
Section 21 eviction notices are still in use and ministers are now facing a new push to deliver on their promise from a new coalition for reform of renters’ rights, which includes the charities Generation Rent, Crisis and Shelter, as well as Citizens Advice and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
Polly Neate, the chief executive of Shelter, said private renters have “had a bad deal for too long – living at the mercy of a broken and unfair system”.
Sue James, the chair of the Renters’ Reform Coalition, said: “Private renters face high rents, poor living conditions and perpetual instability. This causes needless disruption to people’s lives: their finances, work, health and their children’s education. Renters need certainty to enable them to put down roots in communities and create real homes in rented properties.”