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Misery of 'no-fault' evictions in Norwich must be stopped, councillors demand

PUBLISHED: 06:30 25 September 2019 | UPDATED: 11:03 25 September 2019

Beth Jones, Labour city councillor. Pic: Labour Party.

Beth Jones, Labour city councillor. Pic: Labour Party.

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The misery caused to people when they are evicted them from their homes for no reason must be stopped - that is the message Norwich City Council is to send to the government.

The flats at 60 St Faiths Lane in Norwich, have been boarded up. Photo: ArchantThe flats at 60 St Faiths Lane in Norwich, have been boarded up. Photo: Archant

The government started consultation in July over banning controversial 'no-fault' evictions, known as Section 21 notices, with former housing secretary James Brokenshire having said the government would change the law.

Landlords can currently use Section 21 of the Housing Act to evict tenants with no specific reason at the end of a tenancy, so long as they give two months' notice.

There has been criticism that it means landlords could evict people with little notice or justification - and evict people who complain about poor conditions.

MORE: How 'no-fault' evictions are hurting families in Norfolk

At a meeting of Norwich City Council on Tuesday, the council unanimously agreed a Labour motion for council leader Alan Waters to write to the government calling for the abolition of section 21.

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Beth Jones, Labour councillor for University ward, who tabled the motion, said: "Section 21 haunts those in the private sector with an assured short hold tenancy.

"With often only a six month tenancy they can, through no fault of their own, be forced out of a house that became home, where they have put down roots, in only a matter of weeks.

"Section 21 is the rogue landlord's trump card. Without any good reason, or even reason at all a landlord can apply for section 21, forcing the tenant out in a matter of weeks with no redress."

She said the case of the apartments at 60, St Faith's Lane, where the city council ordered all 25 tenants to leave their homes for their own safety because of the state of the homes, showed City Hall stood up for tenants.

She said; "We've taken decisive and significant action to protect private renters in Norwich, but abolishing section 21, which the government needs to do, would be an enormous help.

"This motion adds to the campaign and movement which is growing in our city and nationally on this important issue."

Nationally, the Residential Landlords Association had warned scrapping section 21 notices could make it tougher for lower income tenants to rent homes - as landlords would be pickier about who they let to.

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