The BBC current affairs show Panorama is set to examine Section 21 notices – so-called ‘no-fault evictions’ – tonight, and debate whether tenants deserve more protection.
The programme, called Evicted for No Reason, is at 8.30pm on BBC One.
Investigative reporter Richard Bilton will look at how ‘no-fault evictions’, as Panorama is calling Section 21 notices, have trebled in eight years, and will meet families who are being ejected from properties by their landlords.
He will ask whether more protection of private tenants is required, or if new regulations would contribute to a shortage of housing.
The programme will also feature landlords and tenant eviction company Landlord Action, who will aim to highlight what they see as the “real reasons” why landlords turn to Section 21.
Panorama has interviewed Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action, alongside the firm’s senior solicitor, Emma Philips, about the rise of Section 21 no-fault evictions.
Shamplina said: “When asked to appear on Panorama, I felt a necessity to present the landlords’ side on why so many use no-fault Section 21.
“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.”
New rules introduced in December ended the practice of so-called ‘no-fault evictions’ in Scotland.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has since said his party’s next manifesto will include a pledge to scrap no-fault evictions in England.
Shamplina added: “There are some very good tenants out there.
“Sadly in some cases they are being evicted through no fault of their own but rather because of their landlords’ circumstances, which must be very upsetting.
“However, in my opinion, the abolition of Section 21 in England would compound the housing shortage.”