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Section 21 - Frontline Network submission to Government consultation

Section 21 - Frontline Network submission to Government consultation

Section 21 - Frontline Network submission to Government consultation

Monday, October 14, 2019

The Frontline Network recently submitted written evidence to the Government's consultation seeking views on their decision to repeal Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 – the no-fault eviction notice, and improve Section 8 grounds.

We ran a seven-question survey, asking frontline workers for their views on this very importance tenancy reform. Our questionnaire findings confirmed that frontline workers strongly believe landlords should no longer be able to evict tenants at short notice, and without good reason.

Key Findings

Between 15th August 2019 – 10th September 2019, the Frontline Network conducted an online survey on repealing Section 21. Overall, the results suggest frontline workers believe the repeal of Section 21 is a positive step in providing increased stability for tenants:

  • 73% of frontline workers believed that Section 21 (Housing Act 1988) should be repealed, in contrast to 12% who didn’t (15% were unsure).

  • Most significantly, 84% of frontline workers stated they have supported individuals who have been made homeless as a result of receiving a Section 21 eviction notice.

  • A further 75% of frontline workers believe that Section 21 (Housing Act 1988) has either a negative or very negative impacted upon their ability to prevent homelessness.

  • Most frontline workers, 71%, believed that repealing Section 21 (Housing Act 1988) would have a positive or very positive impact on their ability to prevent homelessness in the future.

Overall, frontline workers have strongly welcomed repealing legislation (Section 21), which allows eviction notices to be served at short notice, and without good reason. However, in the absence of a Section 21 notice, improved tenancy rights must be implemented by the Government.

This will mean, in the event of an eviction notice being served, that legal recourse is available to tenants and the appropriate preventative duties are exercised by the local authority.

Nevertheless, many frontline workers have suggested that removing Section 21 could have the unintended consequence of making it harder to access accommodation, with more restrictive pre-tenancy checks.

In order to improve access to accommodation for individuals experiencing homelessness, frontline workers ask for a renewed focus, and greater funding, to tackle the root causes of access to accommodation.

Thank you to everyone that participated in our online survey.

At the Frontline Network, we support workers from the public, statutory and voluntary sectors working on the frontline with those experiencing homelessness.

Please join the Frontline Network for free today, if you are not already a member.

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