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Government wrong to say Section 21 is leading cause of homelessness

Claims that landlords’ use of section 21 “no fault” eviction notices is the leading cause of homelessness in the UK are “factually incorrect, misleading and just plain wrong”, says the National Landlords Association (NLA) as they take their case to No. 10.

Research by the NLA, using the Government’s own statistics, found that of 33,020 households assessed by local authorities between October and December 2018, just 11.8% (3,890) of those faced homelessness as a result of being served with a Section 21 notice.

The same data also showed that the top reason for losing the last settled home was because family or friends were no longer willing or able to accommodate them, which accounted for over 15,000 households.

The second most prominent reason was the end of an assured shorthold private rented tenancy. This includes tenancies ended using the fault-based Section 8 and tenants abandoning the property, as well as Section 21. Around 29% of these tenancies were ended due to rent arrears.

Previous NLA research found that landlords resort to Section 21 primarily when their tenants fall into rent arrears or engage in antisocial behaviour.

Richard Lambert, CEO at the NLA, said: “Claims by the Government and tenant support groups, that Section 21 is the leading cause of homelessness, are not supported by the available evidence. They are factually incorrect, misleading and just plain wrong. No reasonable landlord would seek to evict a tenant without good cause.”

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