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Why were we evicted? I had to ask the new tenant to find out – and the reason cuts to the heart of the UK’s housing crisis | Ruby Lott-Lavigna


The Tories have betrayed renters, and Labour’s plans don’t go far enough. Here’s how they can fix our broken system

The call about my eviction came on a Friday afternoon in February. The estate agent rang me from an unknown number to let me know my housemates and I would need to leave our home. We had only moved in the year before. “Why?” I asked, confused, with a panicky feeling rising in my chest. “The landlord doesn’t have to give a reason,” he said unapologetically and then hung up.

Section 21, or “no-fault”, evictions are one of the cruellest facets of the housing sector, and they’re increasingly common: recent figures show a staggering 52% rise in these evictions in London in the past year. The right to evict a tenant without notice, for no reason, with almost no legal recourse, was introduced in Margaret Thatcher’s 1988 Housing Act. It doesn’t matter how long the tenant has lived in their home, or if they’ve always paid rent on time – a landlord can remove them, usually with just a few months’ notice.

Ruby Lott-Lavigna is news and politics reporter at openDemocracy

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