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More landlords quit the sector using Section 21

Nearly half of all Section 21 eviction notices are now taking place so landlords can sell their properties, Citizens Advice research shows.

There were 2,000 Section 21 notices issued in May, the highest number during a single month and 25% more than the same month last year.

Citizens Advice warned that once Section 21 evictions are outlawed by the Renters’ Reform Bill it’s likely landlords will use measures like substantial rent increases to evict tenants.

The bill stipulates that landlords can evict tenants within six months of the tenancy if they want to sell or move family in.

Matthew Upton, acting executive director of policy and advocacy at Citizens Advice, said: “Our advisers are increasingly hearing from renters who are being forced to uproot their entire lives after receiving a Section 21 notice.

“For too long, renters have lived in precarious situations with few protections while landlords have held all the cards.

“Reforms to the private rental sector are welcome but they’re open to abuse from unscrupulous landlords. The government must ensure reforms are watertight and not include loopholes which allow Section 21 evictions to continue by the backdoor.”

Some 48% of renters who have been evicted were told that their landlord wanted to sell. However, the new rules would not require landlords to provide evidence of this once the tenant leaves.

The charity found that less than 10% of people who challenged rental increases were successful but they were left with limited options.

Citizens Advice called on the government to give renters more security and extend the length of time that a landlord can evict a new tenant from six months to two years.

It also asked the government to introduce measures to ensure landlords who say they need to sell a property cannot re-let it.