Supporters of the campaign to end section 21

The following organisations support the abolition of section 21 no-fault evictions:


Political parties / bodies:

The Labour Party

Responding to (July 2018) government proposals for three-year tenancies, shadow housing secretary John Healey said:

“Any fresh help for renters is welcome, but this latest promise is meaningless if landlords can still force tenants out by hiking up the rent.

That’s why Labour’s new rights for renters includes controls on rents as well as an end to no-fault evictions and protection against substandard rented homes.”

Landlords react with fury to three-year tenancy plan’, The Guardian, 1.7.18

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn had previously pledged “to scrap 'no fault' evictions to tip housing rules back in favour of renters”, in a December 2017 interview with The Independent. He commented:

At the moment we have a largely deregulated private rented sector in Britain and people can be evicted or have their tenancy terminated at the end of six months for no reason whatsoever.

The stress levels on people concerned is incredible. I get it all the time from constituents because a third of my constituents are private renters. I am very determined to bring some order and stability to their lives by longer tenancies and eviction that can only be there for good reason rather than just what can be retaliatory eviction.

Arguing that ‘Labour should promise to scrap Section 21 evictions’ (Labour List, 25.5.18), Shelly Asquith noted:

Our housing pledges at the last general election focussed on those more home-secure voters less likely to back Labour, as well as the traditional core vote that had previously flirted with UKIP. But if Labour wants to give all workers job security from day one, why not tenants, too? Being sacked and being evicted are both incredibly disruptive life experiences, and both policies would shift significant power in society into the hands of ordinary working people.

The Green Party

Recommends:

“A move away from short-term tenancies towards the right for renters to stay in their home so long as they pay their rent and abide by their contract, unless landlords move in or sell the property. This would start with the abolition of the ability for landlords to issue ‘no-fault’ eviction notices, bringing us in line with most other European countries.”

Britain’s broken housing market: lessons we could learn from other EU Countries’, (February 2018) by Tom Chance for Greens in the European Parliament

London Assembly

Passed a motion in July 2018 stating:

This Assembly welcomes the campaign to end section 21 – the clause of the Housing Act 1988 that allows private landlords to evict tenants without reason.

We acknowledge that the threat of a no-fault eviction causes insecurity and stress for Londoners who rent privately and can discourage tenants from complaining about substandard housing.

We welcome the action taken by the Scottish government to restrict no-fault evictions.

We urge the Mayor to state his backing for the campaign to abolish section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 and to lobby government for this change in the law.

Sian Berry AM, who proposed the motion said:

“Having to move at short notice is one of the worst parts of being a private renter and ending section 21 would make a dramatic difference and solve this problem – it would also align our policies with other countries.”

Tom Copley AM, who seconded the motion said:

"It is unacceptable that landlords can use section 21 to evict tenants for no reason. Private tenants deserve security to protect them from arbitrary or revenge eviction, the fear of which makes tenants reluctant to come forward to complain about substandard housing.”

Stop landlords evicting tenants without reason’, London Assembly, 5.7.18

 

Newspapers:

The Times

Argues in a June 2018 leader that:

the government should legislate to abolish Section 21 evictions. Scotland already has, introducing a system that allows landlords to evict tenants on the basis of 18 reasonable grounds. For instance, if the owners want to live in the property, or if the tenant has been engaging in antisocial behaviour. This is a more sensible and balanced system.

Let Off’, The Times, 16.6.18

  

Organisations fighting homelessness:

Salvation Army UK

Tweeted backing campaign in July 2018:

Great to see @LondonAssembly backing @genrentuk's campaign to end no fault evictions, which currently represents one of the biggest causes of homelessness across the country. #endsection21

Crisis

“In England and Wales, the combination of reliance on short fixed-term tenancies and rising rents has made more people homeless through tenancies ending. So, while private rented tenancies often provide homeless people with settled accommodation for a period of time, they can also be the cause of repeat homelessness. … To improve security of tenure the Westminster and Welsh Governments should introduce a new standard private rented tenancy. There should be limits on annual rent increases (see the following recommendation) and an open-ended period where the landlord could only give notice by using specified grounds. … Open-ended or longer-term tenancies are particularly important for homeless people who need stability to help them rebuild their lives”.

Everybody In: How to End Homelessness in Great Britain (June 2018)

 

Organisations advocating for older people:

Independent Age

Argues that “Section 21 notices (where tenants with shorthold tenancy leases can  be evicted without ground or reason) should be abolished”(Unsuitable, insecure  and substandard homes: The barriers faced by  older private renters, March 2018). Quotes an older renter:

“The worry is the rent going up and when they’re going to chuck you out... that is the most worrying bit…  All I want to do is live the rest of my days comfortably and peacefully.  I’ve got a nice flat, nice garden… You keep moving around, and at my age I don’t fancy it much.”

London Age UK

Recommends “Abolishing Section 21 notices whereby AST tenants can be evicted without reason”(“Living in Fear” – experiences of older private renters in London, September 2017). Their research found that, for older renters, “the prospect of a Section 21 ‘no fault’ eviction was a constant threat hanging over their heads”. Due to:

“fear of eviction, many [older] AST tenants were reluctant to contact their landlord about essential repairs and maintenance. They reported that they would rather take a financial hit or live in substandard accommodation than ‘raise their head above the parapet’.”

 

Think-tanks:

Civitas

Recommends the government:

“Introduce indefinite leases as the norm… Tenants should ordinarily be allowed to remain in the property (subject to observing the terms of the lease) for as long as they wish, enabling them to make a home of their rented accommodation. This would give them the security of tenure that is found in the owner-occupied sector from which many are increasingly shut out. The evidence from overseas is that indefinite tenancies are not antithetical to a well-functioning private rented sector, as long as investors – and mortgage lenders – recognise the need to take a long-term approach to their business”.

The Future of Private Renting Shaping a fairer market for tenants and taxpayers’, by Daniel Bentley, Jan 2015

Resolution Foundation

Lists options for improving renter security including “Introduce indeterminate tenancies as the sole form of private rental contract available in England and Wales, following Scotland’s lead” (‘Home improvements: action to address the housing challenges faced by young people’, April 2018):

“Private renters have significantly more security of tenure than in England and Wales in almost all comparable countries … landlords have legitimate concerns about longer tenancies, but these pale in comparison with the needs of renters. … when viewed through an intergenerational lens, it is difficult to see why, on balance, the relatively minor problems that greater security of tenure could represent for a small proportion of landlords should prevail over the growing need of private renters to create a stable home. Given that efforts to encourage landlords to offer longer leases voluntarily have proved ineffectual to date, stronger action is needed if risk in the PRS is to be substantially reduced.”




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