Exclusive Sky News analysis shows the number of households requiring homelessness council support following no-fault evictions has risen by more than 50% in the north of England in the last three years.
In the Northeast, the proportion of households homeless or at risk of homelessness following a Section 21 notice, often called a no-fault eviction, rose 88%, according to our analysis of new data from the Department of Leveling, Housing and Communities.
Across England, there was an 18% increase between the second quarter of 2019 and the second quarter of 2022.
A Section 21 notice allows a landlord to evict tenants on insured short-term rentals, the most common type of tenancy in the private rental industry, without reason with just two months’ notice.
During the pandemic, this was extended to six months to give tenants more security, but the government withdrew this measure in October 2021.
Why does this happen?
The unrest in the private rental sector is having a devastating ripple effect on homelessness.
Half of homeless or at-risk households came from the private rental sector under an insured short-term rental, compared to a fifth in the second quarter of 2019.
This means that it is now the most common reason people need counseling support. Previously, the most likely reason was that family and friends were no longer able to provide accommodation.
Our analysis revealed a marked increase in homelessness as a result of landlords wishing to sell or re-let their properties.
The number of households receiving homelessness support for this reason has increased by 44% in England and 170% in the North East.
Nathan Emerson, chief executive of landlord membership organization Propertymark, said an increase in evictions is the result of the backlog created by the ban during the pandemic and the unfavorable economic and regulatory outlook for landlords.
“What we had was a blockage in the housing system because of COVID and the restrictions that were there,” he says.
Mr Emerson adds that many homeowners are only making a profit of a few hundred pounds, meaning they are struggling to absorb rising mortgage and maintenance costs.
“Not all owners are big institutional multi-millionaires. The average owner owns one, two or three properties,” he says, “if they have to do one or two repairs a year, that could wipe out any excess money for them. “
But Mr Emerson says the underlying cause is the housing shortage, which is increasingly making housing unaffordable for many people.
“The housing crisis is the result of monumental failures over the past 10 or 20 years, where government building targets have not been met and where there has been no investment in infrastructure. social housing.
“The only area that stepped up to cover this shortfall was the private rental sector, but they are penalizing these people and discouraging them from entering the market.”
A spokesperson for the Department of Leveling, Housing and Communities said: “We know how difficult this winter will be and no individual or their family should be left homeless during this one.
“This government has pledged to end evictions under Section 21, protect 1.3million families with children from losing their homes, and has provided £316million this year to councils for s ensuring that no family is without a roof over their head.We have also set aside £37billion in support measures for those battling the rising cost of living.
“Our interventions are working – our Homelessness Reduction Act has prevented more than half a million households from becoming homeless or supported in sedentary housing since 2018 and our 11.5 billion affordable housing program sterling will continue the delivery of affordable housing across the country.”
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