Croydon had the highest number of renters made homeless by private landlords in south London over the last two years, according to figures obtained by Generation Rent, the housing campaign group.
Figures released this week show that more than 40,000 households in England have been threatened with homelessness by landlords using no-fault eviction grounds since 2019, when the Tory government promised to abolish these evictions.
Generation Rent’s research found that, since 2019, 494 households in Croydon have been made homeless through a no-fault eviction by their private landlord.
Croydon has more than 37,000 households in private rented accommodation; Generation Rent calculates that there were 13.3 no-fault eviction cases per 1,000 renters over the two-year period, the highest rate among all south London boroughs.
Neighbouring Sutton had a similar eviction rate, 13.3, after 198 households suffered no-fault evictions (from a total of 14,870 in private accommodation).
Among south London boroughs, Lambeth was the next worst affected, after 469 no-fault evictions over the same period. With more than 42,000 households in private rent, that gives a rate of 11.1 per 1,000.
As the government develops its White Paper on the Private Rented Sector, Generation Rent is calling for measures that allow renters to challenge evictions when the landlord wishes to sell, and provides them with financial support if forced to move for reasons outside their control.
In April 2019, the government announced plans to abolish Section 21 of the 1988 Housing Act, which allows landlords to seek an eviction without needing a reason. Landlords use this when selling up, but can also abuse it to re-let at a higher rent, or to avoid making repairs. Councils record these reasons when renters seek their support with threatened homelessness.
Between April 2019 and March 2021, councils dealt with 557,030 cases of homelessness, of which 91,710 were private tenants facing eviction. Of these, 44,040 households were facing eviction due to their landlord selling up, re-letting or evicting following a complaint by the tenant.
This figure represents 0.9 per cent of England’s 4.7million private renter households.
Baroness Alicia Kennedy, the director of Generation Rent, said, “Being forced to move for reasons outside your control creates unimaginable stress, uproots you from your community and disrupts children’s education.
“Right now landlords need no reason to inflict this on their tenants. The government has rightly committed to the abolition of S21 evictions, but this is too late for the thousands of renters who have faced homelessness while the reforms have been delayed.
“To give renters the security that everyone should expect from their home, the government must make sure that the use of new eviction grounds for sale is minimised and landlords who force their blameless tenants out provide adequate financial support.”
- A summary of the data for each local authority is available here.
- Further information about Generation Rent’s proposals for tenancy reform are available here
- Inside Croydon depends on regular subscriptions from our readers to enable us to continue to deliver exclusive, headline-making and independent journalism – the sort of scrutiny that Croydon Council would prefer did not exist. Please sign up today as a subscriber. Click here
- If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, or want to publicise your residents’ association or business, or if you have a local event to promote, please email us with full details at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Inside Croydon is a member of the Independent Community News Network
- Inside Croydon works together with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, as well as BBC London News and ITV London
- ROTTEN BOROUGH AWARDS: Croydon was named the country’s rottenest borough in 2020 in the annual round-up of civic cock-ups in Private Eye magazine – the fourth successive year that Inside Croydon has been the source for such award-winning nominations
- Inside Croydon: 3million page views in 2020. Seen by 1.4million unique visitors