Renting: no-fault evictions at record-high amid cost of living crisis

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Families and households across the country are already struggling to pay rent and afford bills amid the cost of living crisis

The number of people at risk of homelessness after innocent evictions has reached record highs, according to new government figures.

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New data released by the Department for Leveling Up, Housing and Communities showed that between January and March of this year, 6,400 households were at risk of homelessness as a direct result of evictions that were “through no fault of their own”.

This is more than double the numbers reported in the same quarter last year and the highest number on record.

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It comes as families and households across the country struggle to pay rent and put food on the table amid a mounting cost-of-living crisis.

The number of people affected by evictions through no fault of their own has reached a record high

Emma Johnson was evicted along with her seven-year-old son in a “no-fault” Section 21 eviction.

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Her landlady wanted to rent the property to a friend instead.

Ms Johnson told Mazic News: “It was appalling. I was very afraid of becoming homeless.”

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Ms Johnson explained that she has no problem with landlords evicting tenants who disregard the property or fail to pay rent, but said she saw no reason to evict someone who had done nothing wrong.

“I feel completely trapped”

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She continued, “Landlords need to realize that their properties aren’t just objects.

“They are the home of the people.”

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Ms Johnson said she describes herself as a good tenant: clean, reliable, always paying her rent on time. She had even prepaid the six-month rent, which amounted to £9,500, as she was unable to work at the time due to health reasons.

“I can’t get over the injustice,” she continued. “I did absolutely nothing wrong and now I can’t live my life where and how I want.”

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Ms Johnson faced a six-month period during which she and her son were believed to be homeless, living in a room at a friend’s house.

The family eventually received public housing, but had to relocate to another county.

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They still live in the same two-room apartment.

Ms Johnson said: “I am grateful that the Council has given me accommodation but it is not suitable for my son and I.

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“There’s drugs, aggressive characters… it’s dirty and it stinks. There is no place my son could play outside – and there are no children he could play with.

“I lost friends because people judged my situation.

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“I feel totally trapped.”

Ms Johnson said finding an affordable home was becoming impossible with rising rents due to the cost of living crisis.

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But she added that she has now lost faith in the private rental sector as “there is no stability”.

Emma Johnson and her seven-year-old son were forced to change counties after being evicted through no fault of their own

“You can’t be sure of your future,” she explained. “What if the same thing happens to me again?”

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Ms Johnson said she wanted to make sure no one else experienced what she and her son did – and that renting must be possible as not everyone is lucky enough to own a house of their own.

She said: “I felt like a failure throughout the whole thing – my son was asking questions that no seven-year-old should be asking.

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“We are both very dissatisfied with where we live now and are under a lot of stress.

“We hope to move one day, but I’m not sure when that will be.”

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“Cost of Living Crisis Devastates Renters’ Lives”

Charities say they receive calls every day from people who have been forced to leave their homes through no fault of their own and fear the problem will only get worse as energy bills soar this autumn.

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Matt Downie, Managing Director of the homeless charity crisisMazic News said, “It is deeply worrying that thousands are being forced from their homes and now facing an anxious struggle to find a new place to live, all at a time of skyrocketing rents and budgets of people being squeezed to the point of bursting.

“We know how difficult it is for renters right now as the cost of living crisis devastates their lives.”

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He added that the charity is seeing people being asked to pay rent several months in advance to secure a property, while others are being pushed into debt because their housing allowances aren’t covering their increased rents.

Polly Neate, Managing Director of Protectionreiterated these thoughts: “It is alarming that as the cost-of-living crisis rages on, more and more landlords are evicting tenants from their homes.

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“These are real people whose lives are being turned upside down and who just can’t afford to lose their homes right now.”

Real estate experts have said that the cost of living crisis has put additional pressure on the rental market, as landlords, seeing inflation hurt their real income, are looking to evict their tenants in order to sell them or raise rents, while many are doing so are struggling to make ends meet.

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Ms Neate said it means many don’t have the funds to make a down payment on a new home – or can’t afford the higher rents the housing market is currently seeing.

Both chief executives called for the Renters’ Reform Bill, announced by the Government in June but not yet through Parliament, to come into full force.

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Mr Downie said: “How much misery are we going to let people endure?

“It’s crucial that whoever becomes our new prime minister next month prioritizes the introduction of the Renters Reform Bill so we can finally protect people from the trauma and turmoil that comes from being evicted from their homes at short notice will.”

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Ms Neate said: “The government has promised tenants three times that it will introduce a Tenants Reform Act to end unfair evictions.

“It needs to get the job done now as every wasted minute puts another tenant at risk.”

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She added that while ending no-fault evictions won’t solve the cost-of-living crisis for renters, it will at least “give them much-needed security in their homes.”

What the government said

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The Department for Leveling Up, Housing and Communities said the uptick in evictions was due to the market reacting to the recent lifting of restrictions.

during the pandemic, The Corona Law 2020 An eviction ban was imposed to protect private tenants – however, this ban no longer applies.

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A spokesman told Mazic News, “These numbers show that our actions to protect people during the pandemic have helped keep levels of homelessness largely stable.

“We have taken action to protect renters and prevent homelessness by giving an extra £65m to communities [to top up the Homelessness Prevention Grant]to help vulnerable households with rent arrears and reduce the risk of becoming homeless.”

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However, charities have pointed out that the ban was only lifted on June 1, but government figures showing record levels of evictions date from between January and April.

Additionally, prior to the ban’s inception (between January and March 2020), there were 4,470 evictions due to a “no fault” Section 21 notice – that’s 40% fewer than the numbers we’re currently seeing.

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The Leveling Up Department added that the government is currently preparing a $37 billion support package.

They said that Renter’s Reform Bill will “fulfill our manifesto commitment to give tenants a better deal by eliminating Section 21 evictions through no-fault.”

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The legislation proposes a move to periodic tenancies, allowing either party to terminate the tenancy if necessary.

The spokesman said: “Our reforms will result in tenants feeling more secure and empowered to challenge bad practices and unreasonable rent increases, while ensuring landlords can have confidence they can regain ownership if they do.” is appropriate.”

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