Campaigners serve ‘Section 21’ on MHCLG

Government warned of tenant backlash if rental reform thrown out.

Press Images - please credit: © Jess Hurd
What: Generation Rent and The Renters Union protest about unfair evictions. They use a huge fake removal van to essentially "move in" to the Ministry of Housing, Marsham St, Westminster, London.

A removal van turned up at 2 Marsham Street to serve a Section 21 on MHCLG – with government warned of a tenant backlash if rental reform is thrown out.

The action was organised by Generation Rent, London Renters Union and ACORN – housing campaigners protesting against the use of section 21 eviction notices.

“We need a radical overhaul of the private rented system – the government’s proposed reforms are a step in the right direction but don’t go far enough and will allow many unfair evictions to continue,” said Georgie Laming, campaigns manager at Generation Rent.

“Renters deserve a secure home, which is why we’re demanding the government take action to end unfair evictions for good.”

MHCLG currently consulting on its decision to end Section 21[2].

Campaigners say that, under the current proposals, tenants could still be forced to leave their home if a landlord wished to sell the property, or move into it themselves and they are not protected from unaffordable rent hikes.

The End Unfair Evictions coalition has an open letter of demands to Boris Johnson and Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick on 38 Degrees, which has already garnered over 40,000 signatures.

Section 21 is the leading cause of homelessness in the UK.

Generation Rent’s own stats suggest that 216 families are made homeless by Section 21 every week.

Tenants who raise complaints about housing conditions have an almost one-in-two (46%) chance of being issued an eviction notice within six months, according to Citizens Advice.

An end to section 21 is just one of the radical reforms called for by campaigners to reform the housing system. Campaigners are demanding rents should be capped at one third of local incomes.

“The government needs to choose which side they are on – families or buy-to-let investors,” said Jonny Butcher, ACORN national field director.

“Genuine protection from eviction means that private tenants can lay down roots for the very first time without the fear of being forced to move every six months.

“If this government goes back on its commitment to end no fault evictions, they can expect a huge backlash from a growing movement of organised tenants across the country, as well as from an expanding renters’ vote bloc at the next general election,” he said.

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