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Shelter threatens government after big rise in Section 21 evictions

Shelter is warning that the government’s failure to abolish Section 21 evictions will backfire and that “renters will remember who stood with them” at the General Election.

The campaigning charity claims that latest figures show 26,311 households in England have been removed from their homes by court bailiffs as a result of Section 21 since the government first promised to scrap them back in 2019.  

The figures on repossession and evictions released by the Ministry of Justice also show 9,457 households were kicked out of their homes by bailiffs in the past year, up by 49 per cent from 6,399 households in 2022.   


A further 30,230 landlords in England started Section 21 eviction court proceedings in 2023 – a 28 per cent rise in one year.  

The charity claims that Section 21 evictions are a major contributing factor to rising homelessness because they allow the eviction of tenants with just two months’ notice without having to give them a reason. It says most renters move out before the end of this notice period to avoid the eviction claim going to court, so the repossession statistics apparently only show part of a much bigger problem.   

Shelter’s research shows that it took a third of tenants longer than two months to find a new home the last time they moved, “leaving many to face the terrifying threat of homelessness once a no-fault eviction notice lands on their doormat.” 

The government first promised to scrap S21 in its 2019 manifesto. In May 2023 it committed to the policy by publishing the Renters Reform Bill. 

Since then, the government has said the ban will only be introduced after unspecified court reforms take place.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, says: “It’s utterly shameful that the government is bowing to vested interests while renters are marched out of their homes in their thousands. How much longer are renters expected to live with the threat of unjust no-fault evictions hanging over them? 

“When plans for the Renters Reform Bill were first drawn up, they promised renters an escape from an insecure and unjust system that left them in constant fear of losing their homes. But, without serious amends, this Bill won't be worth the paper it’s written on.    

“There’s still time and opportunity to deliver a Bill that makes renting safer, fairer and more secure, but the government must grasp the nettle and oppose attempts to water down the Bill from inside its own ranks. When they head for the ballot box, England’s 11 million renters will remember who stood with them.”

  • James B

    Trying to scare the politicians with votes and keeping their own jobs … no matter Labour will do this and more

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    Lots of landlords planning to vote Reform because of the anti-landlord Renters Reform Bill. Many tenants are aware that that bill is causing them to be served with a Section 21 notice now, so I don't think Shelter's reasoning is correct.


    I am one of them, Ellie.


    The Conservative Party have lost my vote - what do they expect when they attack & undermine my businesses ??? I hope that Labour do not get a massive majority but I think that is what id going to happen.
    Landlords appear to be target acquired for all of the Westminster idiots!!!

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    • L C
    • 09 February 2024 08:56 AM

    Its a knock on effect. They put pressure on the government who react without reasonable logic causing more landlords to sell up and making the housing crisis worse. Vicious cycle.

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    Polly Bleat and her Housing ADVICE Charity, have caused this by their campaign to abolish Section 21. Landlords are selling up in anticipation of losing Section 21. Even now the Court delays mean it can be many long months before the Court grants and the landlord obtains, possession.😟

    They forget who actually OWNS the property. 😡

  • Paul Singleton

    Landlords buy to let fixed rates are coming to an end and due to section 24 rules they cannot make it work and as a consequence are selling up. Changing section 21 rules will not fix this problem. The only option is to abolish section 24 but the government won’t do this!

  • Kristjan Byfield

    The only relevant question here is- what are those S21s being issued for? If it's ASB, rent arrears, to sell the property, refurbish it or move back in- all of those are to be protected when S21 does go. Meaningless tosh from Shelter. Also, I wasn't aware the Torties had a big amount of support from renters......that's news to me!

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    Shame on you Shelter - why not work with these landlords instead of constantly calling them out... Landlords do not evict unless they have a very good reason.
    Do you know of any other business that is not allowed to sell their assets or retire without the ever ending nagging of the government and SHELTER... I have yet to see Shelter add any value to the rental market.....

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    "Shelter threatens Government" - Do as we say or you'll lose voters. They really do have all of the audacity. Shelter are doing more harm to the rental sector than any one else. At some point, this will all come home to roost. The Councils won't be able to house all the tenants, the PRS will be eviscerated... who will the tenants look to then? Because Shelter won't re-home the people they claim to want to protect. What exactly is their end-game here? Are landlords expected to gift their properties to tenants?

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    This is such a joke. You can't get people out for months ! You cannot start proceedings until at least three months after they should have left and then you would be in a queue to get a court date which could easily be 4 - 6 months. All that time the Landlord is without income and has expenses to pay. If the government kept up with their promises to build affordable homes for those that are in the most need, councils were more diligent we would find a resolution to this. Section 21 was brought in to resolve the housing issue originally and to give Landlords peace of mind that if the tenants got into difficulties it did not become a Landlords problem. Yes we are all getting out of renting our properties far better to go and buy a classic car or some art !!!

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    All landlords should get togeather and have a section 21 day when all dodgy tenants get served notice


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