Private Rented Housing: Evictions

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 3rd December 2018.

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Photo of Caroline Lucas Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton, Pavilion

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will make it his policy to end the practice of no-fault eviction under section 21 of the Housing Act 1998; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Heather Wheeler Heather Wheeler Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

The vast majority of tenancies end without problem and it is only in a minority of cases that landlords seek repossession of their property through the courts. The English Housing Survey 2016-17 found that just 10 per cent of tenants moved because they were asked to leave or were given notice by their landlord and not all these cases involved in court proceedings.

Only a small percentage of moves in the private rented sector end in the courts. In England and Wales, there were 20,590 private landlord possession cases in 2016-2017, compared to the total of 1.1 million moves into and within the Private Rented Sector.

Landlords need to know they have the flexibility to get their property back quickly when their circumstances change. Without those assurances, landlords would be less willing to enter and stay in the market, which does not help tenants.

The government is committed to protecting the rights of tenants and giving them more security. We recently consulted on ways to overcome the barriers to landlords offering longer, more secure tenancies in the private rented sector. This included seeking views on the grounds under which a landlord should be able to recover their property.

Some landlords have expressed concerns about their ability to repossess their property through the courts. To better understand this we launched a call for evidence, on 13 November, to better understand the experience of courts and tribunal service users, including members of the judiciary, landlords and tenants, in property cases. This call for evidence will close on 22 January.

We want to consider carefully the responses to both the consultation on overcoming the barriers to longer tenancies, and the call for evidence on user experience of the courts, before making any policy decisions. We will provide more information on next steps in due course.

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