Hundreds of Ashfield families have been evicted from their homes over the last five years, new figures reveal.
This includes at least 77 “no-fault evictions”, which the government pledged to abolish to prevent landlords removing tenants from their homes at short notice and without giving a specific reason.
Ministry of Justice data shows that 341 households in Ashfield District Council were evicted from their homes in the five years to March this year.
Of these, 77 were subject to a “accelerated possession” court order - used to remove tenants who have not left the property by the date set out in a section 21 notice, which can provide tenants with as little as eight weeks’ notice to leave once the fixed term in their tenancy agreement expires.
But because many cases do not make it to court, the number of “no-fault” evictions could be much higher.
In addition to the 77 accelerated repossessions in Ashfield, there were 40 evictions by private landlords, and 224 by social landlords.
However, Ashfield District Council say its priority is to “protect residents’ tenancies” and ensure they are looked after if evicted by a landlord.
Councillor John Wilmott, portfolio holder for regulatory services, said: “The protection of our resident’s tenancies is a priority for the council.
“No-one should be evicted for making legitimate complaints to their private landlord.
“Our private sector enforcement team dealt with 48 allegations of illegal eviction in 2018/19.
“There have been a further 29 allegations of retaliatory eviction offences since October 2015. In the majority of cases we have been able to secure retention of the tenancy.
“Retaliatory eviction is an unacceptable practice and no tenant should fear becoming homeless because they have asked for a necessary repair.”
Illegal eviction is when a landlord attempts to evict a tenant outside of the legal process and this may include threats and harassment and in the worst case physical assault.
Coun Wilmott continued: “Our Private Sector Enforcement team take direct action against all rogue landlord attempts to illegally evict their tenants.
“This includes seeking to evict them when complaints about repairs are made as a retaliatory action.
“These types of evictions leave tenants vulnerable and living in poor housing with the fear of losing their home if they report repairs.”