Some 22% of private renters are worried they will lose their home or be asked to leave at short notice now the eviction ban has finally ended, Shelter research has found.
Eviction notice periods have now been set at four months, while they are set to return to two months from 1 October.
Evictions were banned in March 2020 until the end of May 2021.
Shelter is warning the government must take action to protect renters against the imminent threat of eviction and homelessness with a package of emergency financial aid.
Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “The lifting of the eviction ban signals the beginning of the end for many renters facing homelessness. Thousands of people will wake up on the 1st of June knowing they’ll soon be kicked out of their home, with nowhere to go.
“The ban has been a lifeline for private renters who have weathered job losses, falling incomes and rising debts in this pandemic. But what happens now? Longer notice periods, while they last, will give some worried renters valuable time. But come September, anyone facing eviction will have just weeks to find somewhere else to live.
“The government needs to do more to stem the tide of rising evictions. It cannot waiver from delivering a Renters’ Reform Bill that scraps Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions altogether. And in the meantime, it must offer renters with crippling Covid-arrears a package of financial aid.”
Two in five tenants (40%) said their experience of finding and trying to keep a home makes them worried about finding another home in the future.
Previous research carried out by the charity at the end of November 2020 revealed 445,000 private renting adults in England were in arrears at the time or had been threatened with eviction by their landlord or letting agent in the past month.
In order to protect renters long-term, Shelter urged the government to address the ‘structural failings’ of the private rental system through its forthcoming Renters’ Reform Bill.