Four early victories for the End Unfair Evictions campaign

Jul 13, 2018 2:05 PM

It is less than a month since we launched our joint campaign - with ACORN, the New Economics Foundation and the London Renters Union - to end section 21 no-fault evictions, and we've already had some major successes. 

Here are four things we can celebrate already.

1) The government has admitted renters need more security

Earlier this month, the government opened a consultation on security for private tenants. As we've pointed out, the proposals for three-year tenancies leave much to be desired, but at the same time it's clear the renter movement is winning the argument that being forced to move after as little as six months is unfair and unsustainable. We'll be making the case for ending section 21 no-fault evictions during the two-month consultation - watch this space for how you can help!

2) Political support for ending section 21 is growing

Abolishing no-fault evictions increasingly looks like official Labour Party policy. Shadow housing minister John Healey responded to the government's proposals by promising his party would introduce "controls on rents as well as an end to no-fault evictions". This comes after leader Jeremy Corbyn pledged “to scrap 'no fault' evictions to tip housing rules back in favour of renters”. And it's not only Labour that is coming round to the case for ending section 21: in July, the London Assembly passed a motion formally backing our campaign and calling on Sadiq Khan to add his voice the chorus against section 21. The motion was put forward by Sian Berry of the Green Party, seconded by Tom Copley (Labour) and also supported by Lib Dems in the Assembly. Recalling her own experiences of being evicted, Berry commented: "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."

3) Media are taking notice of the campaign

Since the campaign launch in mid-June, we've got coverage in a range of publications - from The Sun to The Canary - and, off the back of our research into revenge evictions, the Conservative-leaning Times came out strongly in support of ending section 21, arguing:

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.

4) The coalition for ending section 21 is broadening and deepening

Organisations advocating for a range of groups and causes are coming out against section 21, the clause of housing law behind the insecurity affecting growing numbers of renters. Think-tanks the Resolution Foundation and Civitas recently came out in favour of ending section 21. In July, the Salvation Army joined Crisis in arguing that, as the leading cause of homelessness, no-fault evictions must be scrapped. Meanwhile, groups representing older people continue to highlight the harm that section 21 causes to older renters: London Age UK and Independent Age both support ending no-fault evictions, with the latter quoting 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.


These early successes are down to your support, so let's keep it up! Our petition is climbing towards 50000 signatures - help us get there by signing and sharing. Don't forget our campaign video too (also on our Facebook and Twitter). You can also find a detailed list of groups supporting ending section 21 here