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HomeCommunityHarrow’s London AM calls for end to Section 21 evictions as 100...

Harrow’s London AM calls for end to Section 21 evictions as 100 face homelessness

More than 100 households faced homelessness because of Section 21 notices in Harrow last year, new figures have revealed.

The new data shows that Harrow Council identified more than 100 individuals and families who were threatened with having nowhere to live in 2022-23, an increase of 47% since the previous year.

Section 21 notices are commonly known as “no-fault evictions”, where landlords can evict tenants without giving a reason. They provide an opportunity to get rid of tenants who request repairs, challenge rent increases or raise other problems. After receiving a Section 21 notice, tenants have just two months to find somewhere new to live.

This week’s data only includes residents who sought help from Harrow or similar assistance, not the complete count of Section 21 notices issued.

Across London, no-fault evictions constitute 17% of households facing homelessness, forcing 4,240 families to turn to council services for housing support after being compelled to leave their private rented accommodations.

London is home to approximately 2.7 million private renters, a figure which has risen considerably since the 1990s. Section 21 notices contribute to housing insecurity for these tenants, where the threat of eviction gives landlords huge power over them.

Even for those who have the means to find another home quickly or somewhere else to stay, section 21 can cause anxiety and insecurity – particularly for the 1.8 million rental households with children or older people renting privately.

The Government pledged to abolish no-fault evictions in 2019 to help prevent “revenge evictions” from rogue landlords who remove tenants who request repairs, but no action has been taken.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has called on the Government to ban Section 21 evictions to help improve stability for renters in London, following an increase in average rental prices to more than £2,500 a month.

Krupesh Hirani AM said: “Tenants should have the right to a secure home and a stable life, free from the anxiety of being evicted for no justifiable reason.

“The government promised to abolish no-fault evictions more than 4 years ago but have done nothing to protect renters from being forced to leave their homes.

“260 residents and families in Harrow have found themselves facing homelessness during this time. This did not need to happen.

“The Government must bring forward legislation to end section 21 notices and address the crisis in housing urgently.”