Private renter evictions have been dramatically increasing since the Government ended the last of the Covid protections in June.
Evictions are on their way to hit their pre-pandemic levels and so households and families around the country are once again being forced to move over the Christmas period.
This stands in stark contrast to Christmas 2020 when the government enforced a "winter truce" from 11 December, keeping renters safely in their homes across the holiday season.
Without a new “winter truce” on repossessions by bailiffs, we estimate that the government will oversee 83 evictions every working day over Christmas and in the months ahead.
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.
We estimate 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 In May 2021, it promised a White Paper to set out the full details of the reforms, but said in October that it would not be published until 2022.
We are calling on the government to reinstate the winter truce to stop Christmas evictions.
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.
Can you support our fight against unfair Christmas evictions? Donate here.
And you can read the full impact of unfair evictions over Christmas by reading John's story here.
About our estimates
We have based the figures on the most recent data from the Ministry of Justice, which found there were 5,036 repossessions in Q3 2021, including 348 mortgage cases, 1,450 social housing cases, 1,543 private landlord cases using Section 8 grounds such as rent arrears, and 1,695 “accelerated” cases, which comprise Section 21 evictions. In Q3 2019, there were 1,787 Section 8 evictions and 1,946 Section 21 evictions.
Between December and February there are 61 days that are not weekends or bank holidays on which bailiffs may work. They are normally only permitted to work between the hours of 6am and 9pm.