Thousands of North Herts renters to benefit from new no-fault eviction protection
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Thousands of renters in North Hertfordshire could benefit from new government plans to ban landlords from evicting tenants at short notice and without good reason.
Campaigners have welcomed the proposals, with housing charity Shelter calling it an "outstanding victory for England's 11 million private renters".
In North Herts, 7,273 households live in privately-rented homes, according to the latest estimates from the Office for National Statistics. That's 13 per cent of households in the area.
Across England, one in five households now rent their home, a proportion that has doubled since 2002.
Under current rules, landlords can evict tenants at any time after an initial fixed-term contract has come to an end, without specifying a reason, by issuing what is known as a Section 21 notice.
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The government says under its new plans landlords will be required to provide a "concrete, evidenced reason already specified in law" for bringing tenancies to an end.
Housing minister James Brokenshire said the proposed changes would effectively create open-ended tenancies.
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He added that the government was taking action because of evidence showing Section 21 evictions were one of the biggest causes of family homelessness.
Shelter chief executive Polly Neate said: "This change will slam the brakes on unstable short-term tenancies and give tenants everywhere a massive boost in security, for which the government will deserve great credit."
Labour however says the proposals do not go far enough, and do not prevent landlords from forcing tenants out with rent hikes.
In North Herts, the average monthly rental price was £953 as of September last year, above the national average of £844.
The rent for a single room was £507, while those renting a four or more bedroom property paid an average of £1,747.
The Residential Landlords Association said it recognised there were calls for change, but warned that good landlords needed to have confidence in the system if they were to invest in new homes.
This means being able to swiftly repossess properties for legitimate reasons such as rent arrears, anti-social behaviour, or wanting to sell, it said.