Hackney,
27
June
2019
|
10:50
Europe/London

Council passes motion supporting the abolition of Section 21 ‘no fault' evictions

A motion commiting the Council to lobbying Government to end Section 21 'no fault' evictions - a law which lets private landlords evict tenants with as little as two months’ notice without having to give a reason - was passed last night.

The motion, proposed by Cllr Sem Moema and seconded by Cllr Caroline Woodley, will see the Council call on the Government to deliver on a previous committment to scrapping Section 21 and ensure a change in Prime Minister does not change these plans as part of the #BetterRenting campaign.

Research by Generation Rent has shown that Section 21 evictions are the leading cause of homelessness in England. With over 30,000 households in the borough now renting privately, nearly one in three Hackney residents are vulnerable to eviction with little notice and through no fault of their own.

 

Cllr Sem Moema, Mayoral Adviser for Private Renting and Housing Affordability
In Hackney, the number of homeless applications has increased significantly in the current year, as have the numbers placed in temporary accommodation and who are rough sleeping.

The loss of private rented accommodation is a leading cause of homelessness in Hackney, driving residents to seek support from the Council, including through Temporary Accommodation. The number of residents now in Temporary Accommodation is 3,100, costing the Council £13 million per year.

Mass homelessness is a national disgrace, and removing its leading causes should be a priority for the Government.
Cllr Sem Moema, Mayoral Adviser for Private Renting and Housing Affordability

The motion in full

This motion calls on the Council to lobby the Government to scrap Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, known as ‘no fault’ evictions, as part of a wider Better Renting campaign to improve awareness and standards in the Private Rented Sector. Section 21 enabled private-sector landlords to evict their tenants with two months notice, without the need to give a reason.

Most of England’s 11 million renters are on tenancies with fixed terms of six months or a year. There are nearly 34,000 privately renting households in Hackney -- all at risk from their tenancies ending through Section 21 notices.

The Hackney Labour 2018 -- 2022 Building a Fairer, Safer and more Sustainable Hackney, included a pledge to support Hackney’s private renters by improving information about their rights, as well as campaign for further powers to regulate the sector. This is being achieved through the Council’s Better Renting campaign.

Research published by the campaign group Generation Rent shows that Section 21 evictions are now the single biggest cause of homelessness in England.

In Hackney, the number of homeless applications has increased significantly in the current year, as have the numbers placed in temporary accommodation and who are rough sleeping.

The loss of private rented accommodation is a leading cause of homelessness in Hackney, driving residents to seek support from the Council, including through Temporary 

Accommodation. The number of residents now in Temporary Accommodation is 3,100, costing the Council £13 million per year.

In 2017, the Scottish government made tenancies indefinite and banned no-fault evictions under the terms of the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016. Landlords can still regain possession of their property, but must make a justifiable and evidenced case through the courts according to grounds that are set out in law.

On 15 April this year the Government announced its intentions to introduce new legislation to abolish Section 21 evictions following a consultation, but this could be at risk with a new Prime Minister, Cabinet and Ministers.

This motion calls on the Council to note and agree that:

  • mass homelessness is a national disgrace, and removing its leading causes should be a priority for the Government;

  • no fault’ evictions, where tenants can be forced to leave their home for no good reason, is a disgrace;

  • alongside the good work of the Council in tackling homelessness and raising awareness of the rights of private tenants through the Better Renting campaign, the Government has announced their intention to scrap Section 21 after consultation.

  • the Government’s plans could change with the election of a new Prime Minister, and subsequent new Cabinet and Ministers.

  • This motion calls on the Mayor to respond to the Government’s consultation on Section 21 evictions, and in the spirit of this motion, call on new legislation to ban ‘no fault’ eviction of tenants by their landlord.

This motion calls on the Mayor to respond to the Government’s consultation on Section 21 evictions, and in the spirit of this motion, call on new legislation to ban ‘no fault’ eviction of tenants by their landlord.

This motion calls on the Council to write to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, asking them to commit to abolishing Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 under a new Prime Minister.

This motion calls on the Mayor to support Generation Rent’s Unfair Evictions Campaign, and work with them and the Mayoral Adviser for Private Renting & Housing Affordability through the Better Renting campaign.

Proposer: Cllr Sem Moema

Seconder: Cllr Caroline Woodley