Hundreds of ‘no fault’ evictions in Enfield since government pledge to ban them

Borough’s three MPs speak out as new data show 477 local families have been turfed out of their homes in four years, reports James Cracknell

Eviction notice (credit Allan Vega via Unsplash)
credit Allan Vega via Unsplash

Nearly 500 Enfield families have been evicted from their homes by landlords using the ‘no fault’ process in the period since the government announced it would ban the practice and “protect” tenants, new figures show.

The latest data from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) show that since April 2019, 477 households in Enfield have been turfed out of their properties following court orders obtained by landlords under the Section 21 procedure, which they can use to evict tenants who don’t wish to leave and have not broken the terms of their contract. The landlord doesn’t need to provide a reason for eviction and can force tenants out within two months.

DLUHC has proposed a law, the Renters (Reform) Bill, which is now going through parliament and will abolish the ‘no fault’ eviction process. But housing charity Shelter says hundreds of families “risk being thrown into homelessness every day” while the practice is legal.

Enfield recently topped the London table for Section 21 evictions, recording 127 possession orders in the second quarter of 2023, more than any other borough. It was also the highest eviction rate Enfield had recorded since the second quarter of 2019, just after the government’s ban was announced.

Enfield – and in particular the east of the borough – has become an epicentre for homelessness in the last year, as rising rents, eviction rates, inflation and the borough’s small pool of available social housing has combined to create a crisis – with hundreds of homeless families being stuck living in hotels for months on end as Enfield Council has nowhere else left to put them.

All three local MPs have spoken out to slam the government’s slow action in dealing with the problem.

Enfield Southgate MP Bambos Charalambous said: “Week after week, my office is supporting constituents who have been unfairly evicted and are in temporary accommodation.

“These are nationwide issues caused by the lack of affordable housing, spiralling costs and inadequate protections for renters. But we are seeing problems deepen in Enfield, as landlords exit the market locally, with the highest rate of Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions in the whole of London and insufficient social housing supply to make up the difference.

“I am deeply concerned by the lack of protection for families in our community, especially those in temporary accommodation, and the complete lack of urgency from the government on these issues.

“We urgently need greater protections for tenants, more council housing and social housing and affordable accommodation locally.”

Edmonton MP Kate Osamor said: “Four years after the Tories promised to ban ‘no fault’ evictions it’s disgraceful that families in Enfield continue to be evicted at short notice and for no good reason.

“It’s clear this government is more interested in protecting the profits of landlords than the families they evict.

“But the housing crisis is a national emergency that requires urgent action. The government must now pass the Renters Reform Bill and the next Labour government needs to make bold decisions to fix the mess they inherit. It’s time for a new deal for renters that includes rent controls, unfreezing housing benefit and enhanced rights. Everybody deserves a safe, suitable and affordable home.”

Enfield North MP Feryal Clark added: ““I have been raising the issues with this disastrous policy with the government since I was elected to parliament. I’ve demanded the prime minister abolish this unfair, inhumane procedure in parliament. I’ve also personally written to ministers and demanded action.

“Yet, here we are, four years later, with another broken promise from the government, and families in Enfield are made to pay the price.
”In government, Labour will abolish ‘no fault’ evictions as part of our renters’ charter, making renting fairer, more secure and affordable. We will build more homes, including social homes, and support families on to the housing ladder with a comprehensive mortgage insurance scheme.”

The government launched a new Housing Loss Prevention Advice Service in August, enabling tenants facing eviction to receive free legal advice as soon as their landlord serves them with a written notice, as well as getting representation in court.

A DLUHC spokesperson said: “Our landmark Renters (Reform) Bill currently going through parliament 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.”

Enfield Council was also approached for comment.