Without a new “winter truce” on repossessions by bailiffs, the government will oversee 83 evictions every working day over Christmas and the months ahead, Generation Rent estimates.
The lifting of restrictions on evictions have seen renters losing their homes at a similar rate to before the pandemic. Between July and September 2021, evictions of private renters reached 87% of the level they were in the same period in 2019.
Generation Rent estimates that if evictions continue at similar levels, then every working day will see 83 households evicted across all tenures.
This includes 28 renter households evicted per day through the Section 21 process, which the landlord does not need a reason to use and the tenant cannot appeal.
This is equivalent to one Section 21 eviction every 32 minutes. The government promised to abolish Section 21 evictions in April 2019. In May 2021, it promised a White Paper to set out the full details of the reforms, but said in October that it would not be published until 2022.
Generation Rent is calling on the government to reinstate the winter truce to stop Christmas evictions.
In 2020, the government placed restrictions on bailiff enforcement of evictions from 11 December to prevent evictions from taking place at a time when rising cases of covid-19 were putting additional strain on public services, calling it a “winter truce”.
Alicia Kennedy, Director of Generation Rent, said: “No evictions should take place during winter, given the risk to vulnerable people of being made homeless amid freezing conditions.
“Last winter’s truce brought England and Wales into line with other European countries and this should be put in place every year.
“This year a winter truce is even more urgent due to the heightened level of infections, the uncertainties posed by the Omicron variant, and the prospect of people who have already lost income since March 2020 facing the loss of their home at what should be the happiest time of the year.”