Councillors have launched a plea to protect residents from “no-fault” eviction notices handed out by landlords. 

Durham County Council has been urged to introduce new measures against Section 21 orders as part of new housing legislation.

The plea came as members of the local authority’s economy and enterprise scrutiny committee called for housing regulations to be prioritised over the next year. 

“We need to take a look at the impact of Section 21 eviction notices,” cllr Rob Crute said at the Monday meeting. “They don’t help our residents at all.”

The Labour member added: “The private sector is becoming more in use. We’ve got a handle on that through the Selective Licensing scheme, and we do get regular reports on the progress of that, but I think we need to look at the issues in relation to housing as and when they develop.”

It comes after the local authority was last month urged to introduce special controls to manage the number of HMOs opening in communities affected by housing issues. 

The local authority was told how some of County Durham’s most deprived areas are targeted by private landlords opening HMOs. 

Cllr Kevin Shaw previously warned: “We’re now seeing a growing number of applications for change of use from family homes in the wider county including some of the most deprived areas, specifically in East Durham.”

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The Dawdon councillor suggested the council introduce supplementary planning controls. 

During the General Election campaign, Labour promised to abolish section 21 “no-fault” evictions and to empower renters to challenge unreasonable rent increases.

Cllr Crute added: “It is an emerging issue and it needs to be dealt with. It’s becoming a divisive issue in some communities, so we need to nip it in the bud as quickly and as best as we can.”

Scrutiny committee chair cllr Sam Zair agreed and added: "we need to look at these issues in further detail".