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Rent rises and cuts to universal credit fuel surge in evictions

THE cut to universal credit (UC) and surging rent prices are fuelling evictions, campaigners warned yesterday as new statistics showed that private-sector evictions were their highest level for years.

In the first quarter of this year, there were 6,318 possession claims in England involving rent arrears or other grounds, the highest level recorded since the series of statistics began in 2009, according to the latest Ministry of Justice data.

In the same period, there were 5,890 possession claims for no-fault section 21 evictions, the highest since 2018.

Generation Rent director Alicia Kennedy stressed that private renters are “facing the perfect storm.”

“The withdrawal of the £20 UC uplift last autumn removed a lifeline that was allowing families to stay on top of rent,” she said.

“That means more people falling into arrears and facing homelessness.

“At the same time, house prices and rents are surging, encouraging landlords to relet or sell up at the expense of their current tenants.”

Ms Kennedy urged the government to raise the local housing allowance, freeze rents and puts an emergency pause on evictions.

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