'It's about not having anywhere for my kids to sleep': 12,500 families face eviction by Christmas

1 December 2023, 09:33

Thousands of families face being kicked out of their homes ahead of Christmas
Thousands of families face being kicked out of their homes ahead of Christmas. Picture: Alamy

By Fraser Knight

More than 10,000 families are set to be evicted before Christmas.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Figures shared with LBC suggest 12,500 families will be issued with no-fault eviction notices between now and December 25.

The government has delayed its ban on the use of Section 21 orders - a way for landlords to kick tenants out - until improvements are made to the courts.

And as temperatures drop and demand for rented housing soars, a growing number of families are facing homelessness.

Corinne Murray, a single mum of two in West London, has been told she has to be out of her home by 4 December.

"Never ever, ever did I ever think I would be in this situation," she told LBC.

"I came from a middle working-class family, and I think I had done quite well to create a home for my children that was loving and warm - it's all I've ever strived for.

"But this is so traumatic to think about… being homeless. It's about not having anywhere for my kids to sleep."

Read more: William and Kate all smiles on red carpet as royals brush aside storm around Omid Scobie's book Endgame

Corinne said she has lived in her home for 10 years and had an email through "out of nowhere" telling her they now must leave.

"Me and my son were walking home yesterday, people watching as you do, and in a house, someone was watching a Christmas movie, putting their Christmas tree up," she said.

 "And my 12-year-old turns to me and says, 'it's a shame we can't do that this year'. It's so stressful.

"They're worried about their Christmas, and if we'll have somewhere for Santa to visit or presents under the tree, because you can't hide the fact you're scrimping and saving and trying to pull everything together."

The housing charity Shelter said about 540 Section 21 notices are being made every day, forcing people to find a new home.

And a survey by the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has suggested demand for rented properties has now tripled since 2019.

Read more: Energy bills to rise by £94 for millions of households from January as Ofgem increases price cap

Read more: Deputy Labour Leader Angela Rayner emphasises plan to abolish no-fault eviction notices if Party comes to power

This mother has been evicted after complaining about mould

The group says new homes going onto the market regularly have 15-20 people expressing an interest in them, although in some cases, LBC has heard it can be as high as 75 people.

The NRLA is warning the problem is going to get worse, with almost a third of landlords now considering selling up because of rising mortgage costs.

Chris Norris, their policy director, told LBC: "We’re talking about investors and landlords looking at their portfolio to try and work out how they can return to breaking even or profit.

"Every person that's being moved on (with Section 21 notices) of course becomes a potential applicant for a new home and yes, they're going to struggle to find one.

"It's a huge amount of demand for a very limited supply of properties."

The NRLA has previously said the "uncertainty" around the future of Section 21 and the Renters Reform Bill is making it "difficult" for landlords - and renters - to plan for the future.

Housing secretary Michael Gove has said it's "vital" to update the courts first, though.

He told MPs the ban on no-fault evictions cannot be made until improvements are made to the systems used by landlords to reclaim possession of their homes.

Labour has accused the government of "kicking the proposals into the long grass", arguing it will take years to reform the legal system.