Home Property Mayor urges Government not to delay Renters Reform Bill as almost 300 London renters face no-fault evictions each week  

Mayor urges Government not to delay Renters Reform Bill as almost 300 London renters face no-fault evictions each week  

by LLP Reporter
23rd Oct 23 4:49 pm

Ahead of the second reading of the Renters (Reform) Bill today, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has warned that the Government’s delay in banning Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions has already taken a devastating toll on many Londoners, and that thousands more are at risk of becoming homeless if the Bill is delayed further into next year.

New City Hall analysis reveals that 290 London renters a week have faced no-fault evictions since the Government’s pledge to strip landlords of the power to evict tenants without reason four years ago (also known as a ‘Section 21’ evictions given their legal basis in the 1988 Housing Act).

Under current legislation, landlords in England can issue a Section 21 notice if they want to take possession of their property from its current tenants. Landlords do not have to give a reason for the eviction and only have to give two months’ notice.

Ministers promised to scrap this method of evictions back in 2019 to give renters more security, and this year the Levelling Up Secretary, Michael Gove, introduced the long-awaited Renters Reform Bill to Parliament which, if passed, would ban no-fault evictions for good.

However, this four-year delay has had a detrimental impact on London renters, where the use of no-fault evictions is particularly high. City Hall analysis shows that since 2019, a third of all no-fault evictions in England took place in the capital, up 70 per cent in the last year. This analysis is based on the number of Section 21 notices that have been followed up with a possession claim. The true scale of the problem could be far worse as not all Section 21 notices will necessarily reach this stage. A further delay of six months to the passing of the Bill into law would mean 15,000 more Londoners risk facing no-fault eviction.

With homelessness in the capital already on the rise, Sadiq is urging Ministers urgently to strengthen and pass the Renters Reform Bill to prevent more London renters from being kicked out of their homes without good reason. In particular, he is calling on the Government to close any loopholes that would still enable landlords to unfairly evict tenants once Section 21 is removed. Sadiq is also calling on the Government to extend the notice period when tenants are evicted for no fault of their own – such as where the landlord wishes to move into the property – from two months to four, to allow renters sufficient time to seek advice and plan for an unexpected move, and to prevent homelessness.

In the meantime, the Mayor is doing all he can to back London renters and push for greater protections against rogue landlords. This includes his flagship Rogue Landlord and Agent Checker, Property Licence Checker and Report a Rogue Landlord tool, as well as ensuring that Met police officers operate on a presumption against evicting tenants when they are called out to landlord-tenant eviction disputes.

Sadiq has also called on the Government to urgently introduce a two-year rent freeze to ease the burden of the cost-of-living crisis, saving London renters on average £3,374 over two years, and to deliver the £4.9bn a year that’s needed to build more genuinely affordable homes across the capital.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “This new analysis is deeply concerning. For too long, landlords have been able to take advantage of exploitative no-fault evictions, which leave renters vulnerable, simply because the Government refuses to act.

“It is inexcusable that four years after the Government vowed to ban no-fault evictions, so little progress has been made. Ministers must act swiftly to strengthen and pass the Renters Reform Bill to ensure that renters get the legal protections they desperately need and deserve.”

Ben Twomey, Chief Executive of Generation Rent, said: “Section 21 no-fault evictions have caused misery for millions of renters since they were introduced 35 years ago. They rip families apart; they force people to move away from their work and friends and are a leading cause of homelessness in our country.

“The figures released today by the Mayor’s Office are a shocking reminder of the scale of the misery caused by these evictions, with 290 renters each week facing a no-fault eviction in London. The government needs to act now to abolish no-fault evictions in order to give renters greater security. We fully support the Mayor’s efforts to highlight this issue and will continue to work closely with all organisations in London that are fighting for renters’ rights.”

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