Illegal evictions in England have reached a record high this year (2023), with many households being unlawfully removed from their homes by landlords.
However, the legal system has failed to keep up with this growing problem, as only 117 landlords were found guilty and punished for illegal eviction offences, which is less than 1% of the total cases. This huge gap raises serious concerns about how well the current laws protect tenants' rights and prevent landlords from taking advantage of their weak position.
Although, It is important to recognise that not all landlords are breaking the law or behaving unethically. Some landlords may use illegal methods because they are frustrated with the legal system, unaware of their duties, or struggling financially. Therefore, a balanced approach to addressing this issue would involve not only applying the existing laws and penalising the offenders, but also offering more support and guidance to both landlords and tenants.
This could include making the eviction process easier, improving the access and affordability of legal advice, and encouraging mediation and alternative dispute resolution. By doing so, both parties could benefit from a more fair and efficient housing market, and the number of illegal evictions could be lowered.