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First council backs campaign to scrap S21 eviction powers

Croydon council is reported to have become the first local authority to back the scrapping of Section 21 of the 1988 Housing Act, which enables landlords or their agents to terminate a tenancy agreement.

Alison Butler, Croydon council cabinet member with responsibility for housing, is reported to have told a council meeting: “The biggest cause of homelessness in Croydon is evictions in the private rental sector. With Croydon having lost around 70 per cent of its budget since 2010, we are struggling to deal with the scale of this problem, and it is unacceptable that private landlords are able to evict vulnerable tenants so easily, leaving the public sector to pick up the bill.”

The authority backed the End Unfair Evictions group, which includes individual protest organisations including Generation Rent, Shelter and anti-agency organisation Acorn. 

The campaign has already won high-profile local government supporters in the shape of Sian Berry, a Green Party member of the London Assembly, and Labour London Assembly housing spokesman Tom Copley. 

Nationally, Labour says S21 will be abolished if the party forms the next government, while consumer charity Citizens’ Advice claims 46 per cent chance of private tenants who complain about issues like damp or mould are issued with a Section 21 eviction notice within six months. 

Poll: Section 21 - should it stay or go?


  • James B

    Considering only 11% of tenants leave on the landlords notice these claims are rubbish .. this figure also includes ones evicted for non payment
    Council are just trying to reduce their waiting lists and keep the bad tenants in the PRS rather than be housed by government
    Maybe stop turning the screw on landlords from all directions and the problem will ease
    Government want to make their mind up... they want landlords to sell up but councils don’t want the increasing homelessness.. #clueless


    Absolutly Agree , most councils have never recocgnised section 21 notices always telling tenants to stay where they are and effectivly breaking the law so its no supprise they want to see them gone.
    Meanwhile its the PRS landlords that pick up the cost, in my considerable experience landlords serve sec 21 notices very rarely unless posession is required for extenuating circumstances . In such cases people are not vulnerable, i would be curious to know how a public sector rental provider goes about removing a tenant for antisocial behaviour or non payment of rent if the do not use the letter of the law ?

    Oh I forgot it probably doent apply to them ,Ha ha ha

  • phil dillon

    Spot on James. When S24 starts to bite in Jan 19 when tax is paid just see the exodus. S24 can easily be resolved just introduce it on anything purchased from 1/4/18 and leave the older stuff as is. It will halt the exodus.

  • Simon Shinerock

    Cynical incompetent council. They have zero interest in right or wrong, they just want someone else to pay

  • icon

    Why am I not surprised.

    First we have licencing to deal with "Anti-Social Behaviour" and now they want landlords to not be able to evict anti-social tenants!! You cant make it up.

    Yes, I am fully aware that only a a small number of evictions are down to this.

  • Angus Shield

    FFS, can the PRS be battered any further!??
    Private Landlords are not an extension of any LA Housing Policy yet they are treated as such. They are given no incentives so why should they bother making available their properties to the LA?
    LA's then wonder why Private Landlords, and their letting agents, avoid Social applications and 'bond' deposits. Once bitten........

  • David Robinson

    A local authority claiming evictions are the biggest cause of homelessness. Brilliant!
    I presume this might be one of the local authorities which actively pursued the policy of encouraging tenants to be evicted otherwise they would have been classed as unintentionally homeless and therefore not eligible for local authority housing.


    You presume correctly, plus they ring us as agents who serve the notice demanding to know why the tenant is being evicted.

  • icon

    I find it incredible that the local council believe that it is a private landlord's responsibility to house the "vulnerable"!!!! Surely that is the council's role??? If they hadn't sold off all the council houses they would have been able to re-house them!

  • S l
    • S l
    • 10 October 2018 21:00 PM

    considering that the council are the ones who actively encourage rouge tenants and non payment of rent even though they are paying the tenants rent money which doesnt go to the rent. now they wanted to get rid of s21. how else could we evict non paying tenants? no wonder homelessness is on the rise. the council are encouraging it as they refused to pay the rent to landlord and the rule is its up to the tenant.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Well of course ALL Councils are going to back it aren't they, - because, underfunded by Govt, they've got to pick up the pieces after a bad tenant is evicted ( Landlords don't evict good tenants, - strange point that's lost on many with limited brain capacity )

  • icon

    Housing social tenants in the private rental sector doesn't work.

  • icon

    Social housing tenants are not vetted when put into New developments next door to people who have worked hard saved hard and have a mortgage. Unlike private landlords who have to strongly and carefully vet their tenants councils do not. Proven fact and dont let a council tell you different. On a small development of 70 houses with persons paying £300k upwards they found that their next door neighbour was social housing in one case on drugs partying most nights had a dog in a top floor flat. We private owners had to get the council and social housing to evict but took nearly a year with weekends of police attending. Social and private do not mix soory but a proven fact. Build estates Only for social and keep private mortgage properties separate. As it used to be in the 50s 60s and 70s

  • icon

    Alison Butler, Croydon Council cabinet member for Homes & Gateway Services and deputy leader, who proposed the motion, said: “The biggest cause of homelessness in Croydon is evictions in the private rental sector.”

    Shelter knows she is wrong.


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