DOZENS of rental properties have been repossessed without an explicit reason in Barnsley since the government pledged to ban no-fault evictions in 2019, the Chronicle can reveal.
The government published the Renters’ Reform Bill in May, but it is yet to pass through Parliament - and housing charity Shelter has urged the Conservatives to prioritise the bill and protect renters across the country.
The latest Ministry of Justice figures show 46 repossessions were made through ‘accelerated possession orders’ in Barnsley since the beginning of April 2019.
Of them, 23 were completed in the last year - up from 11 in the year before.
An accelerated possession order means the landlord served a Section 21 eviction and the tenant must vacate the property within two months.
The landlord does not have to provide a reason.
These ‘no-fault’ evictions have accounted for 22,440 repossessions across England and Wales since April 2019, when the government pledged to ban them in its election manifesto.
Meanwhile, there were 47 per cent more Section 21 notices served in the three months to June than in the same period last year.
Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said landlords can ‘too easily use and abuse the current system’, hiking up rents and issuing a Section 21 eviction notice if the tenant cannot pay.
She added: “With private rents reaching record highs and no-fault evictions continuing to rise, hundreds of families risk being thrown into homelessness every day.
“We speak to renters all the time who feel like they have zero control over their own lives because the threat of eviction is constantly hanging over them.
“The Renters’ Reform Bill will make renting more secure, and for those who live in fear of the bailiffs knocking at their door, these changes can’t come soon enough.
“The moment Parliament resumes, the government must get rid of ‘no-fault’ evictions, which have made the prospect of a stable home little more than a fantasy for England’s 11 million private renters.”
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities said its Renters Reform Bill ‘will protect renters by abolishing section-21 no-fault evictions’.
“We are committed to creating a private rented sector that is fit for the 21st century, which works for responsible landlords while giving tenants greater security in their homes,” a spokesperson added.
Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis told the Chronicle: “No-one should have to live in fear of losing their home, not least in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis.
“It’s deeply concerning the number of homes repossessed through the section 21 order, significantly increased in Barnsley last year.
“Government has long been promising renters a new system through the overdue Renters’ Reform Bill, families have been left waiting years for a ban on no fault evictions, it’s unacceptable and government need to urgently get on with it.”