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Mayor calls shelving of rent reform bill a ‘huge betrayal’

  • June 6, 2024
  • 2 min read
Mayor calls shelving of rent reform bill a ‘huge betrayal’

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has called the Government’s failure to ban Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions a “huge betrayal” of London’s 2.7m private renters. New City Hall analysis reveals that the number of no-fault eviction claims against private renters in London increased 52 per cent in the past year, more than five times the rate seen in the rest of England and Wales over the same period.

The long-anticipated Renters (Reform) Bill, which would have banned landlords from evicting tenants without a good reason and with only two months’ notice, will not become law before Parliament dissolves today ahead of the snap election in July.

This means that thousands of private renters across the country continue to face the threat of illegal eviction for an undetermined period of time, adding to the anguish felt by many renters for whom the Government’s five-year delay over strengthening the law in favour of tenants has been agonising.

In London alone, where the use of no-fault evictions is particularly high, more than 30,000 renting households have faced a no-fault eviction claim since the Government pledged to abolish them in 2019.

With homelessness in the capital on the rise, the Mayor is concerned that the Government’s failure to pass the law will leave thousands of Londoners at increased risk of housing insecurity and homelessness as unscrupulous landlords continue to abuse their powers without fear of repercussion.

Despite having no formal powers over private renting, the Mayor is doing all he can to support London renters and push for greater protections against rogue landlords. This includes launching his flagship Rogue Landlord and Agent Checker, Property Licence Checker and Report a Rogue Landlord and Letting Agent 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.

The Mayor has also renewed his commitment to end rough sleeping in the capital by 2030 and will set aside an additional £10m in funding to deliver more homelessness support across the capital. Sadiq has already quadrupled his rough sleeping budget since 2016, with a record 16,000 people now supported to leave the streets for good.

However, the Mayor maintains that the law needs to be strengthened in favour of tenants and is urging the next elected Government to make ending Section 21, and giving renters the security they need, a first day priority. 

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