Research by the Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) found that tenants who had received a Section 21 notice were twice as likely to have complained to their landlord. They were eight times more likely to have complained to an official redress scheme. Nearly half of all tenants who make a formal complaint about their housing suffer a “revenge eviction”. CAB estimate there have been 141,000 such revenge evictions since 2015. Gillian Guy, the chief executive of CAB says that this raises “serious question marks over the existence of a power that allows landlords to unilaterally evict tenants without reason”. CAB’s research was released soon after the Coalition to End Unfair Evictions presented their petition to James Brokenshire, Housing Secretary. More details can be found in The Guardian article about revenge evictions.
In response to the CAB report about private sector tenants being evicted after making a complaint, the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has said it would condemn a landlord who evicted a tenant soley for this reason. It says that this is not the practice of the majority of landlords and that the call for a ban on Section 21 notices is not the answer. They refer to Government statistics which show that landlords end only 11 percent of tenancies and nearly two-thirds of these are ended because the landlord wanted to move into or sell the property. Other reasons landlords have sought possession have been linked to tenants’ anti-social behaviour or non-payment of rent. In their analysis, Section 21 notices – which do not require the landlord to give a reason – have been used because Section 8 notices are not fit for purpose. New RLA research shows that it generally takes six months and costs more than £2,500 for landlords to regain possession using the Section 8 procedure. The RLA says a new Housing Court is needed and this would speed up justice for both tenants and landlords when things go wrong. This is the full RLA response to the CAB’s report on revenge evictions.