Conservatives at West Northants Council say they will *not* write to the Housing Minister about the delay in banning no-fault evictions.
An estimated 600 homeless households are currently being housed temporarily by West Northants Council, and the Council has seen a 100% rise in tenants approaching the Council after having been served a ‘no fault’ eviction from their landlord.
However Conservatives, who run the Council, said no, they would not write to the government to say that the delay in banning no-fault evictions was impacting people here in West Northamptonshire.
“All I am asking is that this Council write to the government,” said Cllr Sally Beardsworth, leader of the Liberal Democrat Group who had brought the motion forward to Council on 30 Nov.
Opposition councillors agreed that this was a lost opportunity for West Northants Council to say that the delay in bringing forward this legislation is hurting our residents.
It’s four years since the Conservative government pledged to ban no fault (Section 21) evictions of private renters and changes to the law are required. Tenants evicted through no fault of their own face uprooting their families, increased costs of moving to alternative accommodation and the threat of homelessness if they can’t find anywhere suitable. There was 100% rise between 2021 and 2022 of local people approaching West Northants Council for help as their landlords had served a Section 21 notice.
Liberal Democrats asked West Northants Council to write to the government to express concern at the delay but Conservatives won’t let that letter be written.
With swagger, the Conservative Member for Bugbrooke spoke into his microphone on behalf of the Tory Group who rule the Council. He no doubt thought he could bat this idea from the Liberal Democrats for six with a technicality.
Except the technicality, that it was the justice system holding up the promised ban on no-fault evictions, was already known to everyone in the room. Everyone also knew it wasn’t reason not to write a letter, and that it was still the government’s fault that no-fault evictions had not yet been banned. And everyone knew, with a 100% rise in tenants coming to the Council about it, that more and more people were facing no-fault evictions.
With up to 1 in 5 West Northants councillors also being private landlords according to their personal declarations, the Conservatives should have let the Council voice the problems facing private tenants to government.