More households were threatened with homelessness through no-fault evictions last autumn than before the pandemic, figures show.

Data from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities shows 31 households in Colchester were made homeless or put at risk of homelessness between October and December last year after being served with notices.

This was up from 14 households for the same period in 2019.

A section 21 notice can provide tenants with as little as eight weeks’ notice to leave – sometimes without reason – once the fixed term in their tenancy agreement expires.

A spokesman for Colchester Council said: “Early in the Covid pandemic, the Government stopped eviction processes.

“However, all Section 21 notices that were issued before Covid restrictions came into force were not revoked, and when the restrictions were slowly lifted, from early last year, landlords were expected to reapply to the courts.

“The full restrictions were finally lifted in October 2021 and the courts began to process them but are continuing to face long backlogs.

“The figures for Colchester may not therefore represent new Section 21 notices, and it is not possible to ascertain either way."

The Homelessness Prevention Grant funding for Colchester, which is worth £910,361, will be used to prevent homeless in 2022/23.