Renters forced to vacate their homes in the last 12 months faced upfront costs of more than £1 billion, research shows.

The estimated 830,000 renters who had to move out of their property in the last 12 months spent on average £669 in unrecoverable costs as a consequence – amounting to collective bill of £550 million, according to analysis.

If other upfront costs such as rent paid in advance and tenancy deposits are factored in, the total rises to £1.2 billion, according to the findings of a survey by YouGov commissioned by Shelter.

The analysis by homelessness charity, which found 40% of those surveyed said their last move was not out of choice, showed tenants were forced to leave their homes for various reasons.

Some 245,000 renters had to move in the past year because their fixed-term tenancy came to an end, while 61,000 were priced out by a rent increase.

Nearly 190,000 were served with a legal eviction notice, Shelter said, while 135,000 were informally asked to leave by their landlord.

Shelter has accused the Government of “running scared” of backbench MPs who are pushing for amendments to the Renters Reform Bill which would delay a planned ban on no-fault Section 21 evictions.

The Government has indicted it will delay the ban pending an assessment of the legal system to see if it has the capacity to handle the changes.

The analysis found the unrecoverable costs incurred by renters forced to leave their homes were varied, with having to pay rent on two properties at once the most expensive at an average of £800.

Paying bills at two properties led to an average cost of £245, while loss of earnings due to viewings or moving house both cost an average of £200.

Scottish Conservative Party conference 2024
Housing Secretary Michael Gove is accused of caving under pressure from landlord MPs (Michal Wachucik/PA)

Other costs included removal van hire, cleaning and replacing furniture.

With a date yet to be set for the report stage of the Renters Reform Bill, Shelter urged the Government to resist the amendments which it said threatened to “erode the Bill’s effectiveness”.

Critics have accused Housing Secretary Michael Gove of caving under pressure from landlord MPs by watering down a long-promised plan to ban no-fault evictions.

Shelter chief executive Polly Neate called on the Government to protect renters’ rights.

She said: “Tenants are coughing up millions in unwanted and unwarranted moves, while the Government runs scared of a minority of its own MPs. Instead of striking dodgy deals with backbenchers to strangle the Renters Reform Bill, ministers should defend renters’ best hope of a stable home.

“With protections from eviction so weak and rents so high, we constantly hear from people forced out of their homes and communities at huge personal cost. It’s impossible for renters to put down roots knowing a no-fault eviction could plunge them back into chaos at any moment.

“With the Bill’s third reading imminent, it’s now or never for the Government to make good on its promise to deliver a watertight Bill. It must resist spurious attempts to sneak fixed-term tenancies back in, and to indefinitely delay the ban on no-fault evictions. England’s 11 million tenants will remember all too well who fought for them when they finally head to the ballot box.”

YouGov surveyed 2,002 private renting adults in England in February and March, with figures weighted to be representative of private renters in England aged 18 and over, based on English Housing Survey data.

Population calculations were then done independently by Shelter using census data.

Natalie, a 47-year-old from Brighton, has moved 12 times in the past 21 years and has endured two no-fault evictions in the past 18 months.

Despite living in a cold and noisy property, Natalie’s landlord in March last year tried to raise her rent from £795 to £950 a month.

When she complained, the landlord issued her with a Section 21 notice.

Natalie said being forced out of her home twice in quick succession has cost her hundreds of pounds and profoundly impacted her physical and mental health.

She said: “Though I’ve been in my new home for seven months now, I still can’t quite relax. I haven’t even unpacked properly.

“I’m worried that as soon as I do, I’m going to have to move again. I feel traumatised by what’s happened. It’s like I’m always in fight or flight.

“There is nothing worse than being forced to move home. Without a stable foundation, how can you lead a fruitful life?”

A Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities spokesperson said: “The Renters (Reform) Bill will deliver the manifesto commitment to abolish Section 21 evictions. It will be returning to the House of Commons shortly.”