Government’s eviction ‘betrayal’

The number of ‘no fault’ evictions in London increased 52 per cent in the last year.

By Noah Vickers, Local Democracy Reporter

Sadiq Khan looking serious
London mayor Sadiq Khan. Photo: Noah Vickers

The number of ‘no fault’ evictions in London increased 52 per cent in the last year – more than five times the rate seen in the rest of England and Wales, a City Hall analysis reveals.

Sadiq Khan said the data showed how the Government’s failure to ban the evictions – also known as section 21 notices – had been a “huge betrayal”.

Section 21 notices are used by landlords to evict tenants with two months’ notice and without any reason needing to be given.

According to the latest Government data, there were 11,880 of these ‘no fault’ eviction claims in London in the year to the end of March 2024, up 52 per cent from 7,834 in the year to March 2023.

This rise compares to an increase of nine per cent in the rest of England and Wales over the same period, City Hall said.

“The Government’s failure to pass the Renters (Reform) Bill before the dissolution of Parliament today is a huge betrayal of London’s 2.7m private renters, who are left with the threat of eviction hanging over their heads,” said Mr Khan.

“These latest stats from City Hall are shocking and the unacceptable delay to this vital bill will leave even more renters in the capital at unnecessary risk of housing insecurity and homelessness.

“I’m doing all I can to build a better, fairer London for everyone by supporting tenants, but I cannot act alone. Renters’ rights must be a national priority and ‘no fault’ evictions banned for good.”

The Conservatives pledged to deliver the ban in their 2019 manifesto, with Housing Secretary Michael Gove promising as recently as February this year that the ban would be in place before the next election.

The Renters (Reform) Bill, intended to deliver the ban, was first introduced in the House of Commons in May last year. But its progress was delayed by several Tory MPs who wanted to strengthen protections for landlords, who they feared would sell up.

Following Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s announcement of a July 4 election, it emerged that the necessary legislation would not be passed during the ‘wash up’ period before Parliament was dissolved.

Deputy PM Oliver Dowden told the Local Democracy Reporting Service last week: “As happens at the end of the Parliament, when you announce a general election, there are large amounts of legislation on the books. We’ve only got two days to conclude it all.”

He added: “It just hasn’t been possible to get this legislation through in the ‘wash up’ period.”

He said the Government had a strong record on housing overall, with 2.5 million new homes built nationally since 2010.

In total, more than 30,000 renting households in London have faced a ‘no fault’ eviction claim since 2019.

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