Sadiq Khan
news | 8 months ago | Beth Fisher

Sadiq Khan urges government not to delay Renters Reform Bill

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has called on the government to not delay banning Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions as part of the Renters (Reform) Bill.

The second reading of the bill is taking place today (23rd October), and Khan has warned the government that if the new law doesn’t come into effect until next year, thousands of London tenants could be affected.

According to analysis by New City Hall, an average of 290 London renters have faced ‘no-fault’ evictions per week since the government promised to end them in 2019.

Based on the figures from 2023 to date, a six-month delay could result in 15,000 more Londoners facing ‘no-fault’ evictions.

According to the research, one-third of all ‘no-fault’ evictions in England in recent years have been in the capital — up 70% in the past year.

“This new analysis is deeply concerning,” said Khan, “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.” 

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.  

Ahead of today’s reading of the bill — in a response to the Housing Select Committee’s report published earlier this year — the government said that it was committed to abolishing Section 21, but only once reforms to the court system are in place.

“Implementation of the new system will not take place until we judge sufficient progress has been made to improve the courts,” the government confirmed.

“That means we will not proceed with the abolition of section 21 until reforms to the justice system are in place.”

The response was made after extensive lobbying by the NRLA, which has long argued that without quicker court processes, responsible landlords would “simply leave the market following the abolition of section 21, at a time when renters are already struggling to find a place to live”.

With homelessness in the capital on the rise, Khan is calling on the government to close any loopholes that would still enable landlords to unfairly evict tenants once Section 21 is removed.

The mayor is also urging 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. 

Ben Twomey, chief executive at Generation Rent, added: “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.”

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