Colchester City Council joins fight to prevent evictions and homelessness

PUBLISHED: 11 March 2024

Colchester City Council Leader, David King, has joined forces with over 100 council leaders across England in a critical push to address the rising tide of homelessness. The collective effort calls for an amendment to the Renters (Reform) Bill, specifically advocating for an increase in notice periods for private tenants facing eviction.

In a united front, the council leaders penned a letter to Secretary of State for Housing, Michael Gove. The letter emphasises the urgent need to reduce evictions in the private rented sector, a significant cause of homelessness. The concern is rooted in the escalating costs associated with homelessness, which local authorities are obligated to tackle by providing temporary accommodation. This financial strain threatens to financially cripple some councils.

The Renters (Reform) Bill, while eliminating ‘no-fault’ evictions under Section 21, still empowers landlords to evict tenants for valid reasons like needing the property for family or sale. However, the Bill retains the current two-month notice period in such cases – a period identified by Shelter research as insufficient for most tenants to find new homes.

The letter, coordinated by the Renters' Reform Coalition, urges the Housing Secretary to “consider amending the legislation so that tenants have four months' notice if they are being evicted through no fault of their own in the new tenancy regime.” This proposal is firmly supported by the Local Government Association.

“Local councils bear a significant brunt of the homelessness crisis,” said Cllr David King. “Amidst a worsening housing situation, we must do everything in our power to support individuals and families seeking affordable housing or at risk of losing their current homes.

“Extending the eviction notice period can make a real difference. It translates to less anxiety for families facing eviction, a greater chance of finding suitable new accommodation, and ultimately, fewer people pushed into homelessness. This will also alleviate the immense pressure on our already stretched budgets.”

Colchester City Council remains committed to working with national and local partners to implement effective solutions that address homelessness and ensure safe, secure housing for residents.

Page last reviewed: 11 March 2024


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