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BBC Panorama to put no-fault evictions under spotlight tonight

Programme will look at why there has been such a big increase in the use of Section 21 notices over the past decade.

Nigel Lewis

no fault evictionsThe darker side of the rental sector is to come under the spotlight this week when the BBC’s Panorama programme looks at Section 21 no-fault evictions.

This is to include comments from Landlord Action’s Paul Shamplina that the increase in their use is in part down to the government’s recent tax changes, and that banning Section 21 evictions would only compound the current housing shortage, not help alleviate it.

Due to be broadcast today at 8.30pm the programme is to look at whether tenants should be better protected from this type of eviction process, and why so many landlords employ it.

No fault evictions

The issue has been high on the political agenda for some time – no-fault evictions were effectively banned in Scotland on December 1st last year, and the Labour party has said it will introduce similar, more secure tenancies in England and Wales if it gains power at the next election.

The most recent research into no-fault evictions by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation shows that the number of tenants evicted each year was 10,000 more in 2015 than in 2003, and that this increase is “almost entirely” down to the more frequent use of Section 21 notices.

Called ‘Evicted for No Reason’ the programme, fronted by BBC reporter Richard Bilton, features an interview with Paul Shamplina (pictured, left).

“When asked to appear on Panorama, I felt a necessity to present the landlords’ side on why so many use no-fault Section 21,” says Paul.

“The term ‘no fault’ is really a bit of a red herring. There is always a reason why a landlord ends a tenancy, but it’s a far cry from the headlines showing that landlords use it just to throw tenants out.

“If a landlord has a good tenant, the last thing they want to do is get rid of them. However, in our experience, the main reasons for serving Section 21 notices are for rent arrears, tenants requesting to be evicted so they can be re-housed or, most recently, because landlords wish to sell their property owing to impending tax liabilities.”

February 20, 2018

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