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Hundreds evicted from their homes across Shropshire

By Mark Andrews | Bridgnorth | News | Published: | Last Updated:

Nearly 1,000 families across Shropshire and Mid Wales have been evicted from their homes over the past five years, new figures reveal.

They include at least 260 of the controversial 'no fault' evictions which the Government has pledged to abolish.

Data from the Ministry of Justice showed that 322 evictions took place in Telford & Wrekin over the five years up until March this year.

Of these, 91 were subject to an 'accelerated possession' court order, usually imposed when tenants have been ordered to leave without reason in as little as eight weeks.

In the rest of the county, there were 495 repossessions over the same period, including 152 accelerated possessions, while in Powys 109 families lost their homes , with 17 no-fault evictions.

However, the number of no-fault evictions is likely to be much higher, as many do not make it to court.

Accelerated possession orders allow landlords to evict tenants at short notice once their fixed-term tenancy agreements have expired.

They can issue tenants with a notice under Section 21 of the Housing Act, giving them eight weeks to vacate the property without specifying a reason.

If the tenants do not comply, the landlord can apply to the courts for an accelerated possession order, giving the tenants a further two weeks to challenge the eviction.

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Unfair

Last month Prime Minister Theresa May pledged to end the practice, saying it was unfair to tenants.

She said landlords should not be able to "unexpectedly evict families with only eight weeks’ notice".

Across England and Wales, almost 70,000 households were subject to an accelerated possession order in the five years to March this year.

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Campaign group Generation Rent said a combination of rising rents, stagnant wages and declining welfare support had fuelled an increase in evictions in recent years.

Hannah Slater, from the group, said: “At the same time, analysis by Generation Rent shows that high house prices correlate with rising evictions, as buy-to-let landlords kick out tenants to cash in on their properties.

“Section 21 is commonly used for revenge evictions when tenants ask for repairs, and has fuelled buy-to-let and driven up housing costs.”

She said the number of 'no-fault' evictions could be much higher as the data only showed cases that made it to court, and "most renters simply leave when told to and their eviction isn't recorded anywhere".

A Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government spokeswoman said: “This government is committed to rebalancing the relationship between tenants and landlords to deliver a fairer, good quality and more affordable private rented sector.

“That’s why we are putting an end to ‘no-fault evictions’ by repealing Section 21 of the Housing Act, giving tenants greater security as part of our ongoing work to make a better system for both tenants and landlords.”

Mark Andrews

By Mark Andrews
@MAndrews_Star

Senior news writer for the Shropshire Star specialising in in-depth features and commentary, investigative reporting and political matters.

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