News from Tom Copley: Government urged to push ahead with ending 'no-fault' evictions
to push ahead with abolition of
‘no fault’ evictions
Labour’s London Assembly Housing Spokesperson, Tom Copley AM, is urging the Government to press on with plans to outlaw the use of Section 21, or ‘no fault’, eviction notices. In a letter to the new Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick MP, Mr Copley said that with more than a quarter of Londoners now renting, tighter measures should be put in place to prevent tenants being forced to leave their homes with short notice and for no reason.
A section 21 notice enables a landlord to end an assured shorthold tenancy with two months’ notice, without having to provide a reason for the eviction.
The latest Government figures reveal that between March 2018 to April 2019, 3,380 households in the capital were threatened with homelessness and owed a prevention duty by their local authority after being served a section 21 notice.
In July 2019, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) launched a public consultation on its proposals to abolish the use of section 21 notices. The MHCLG expect any changes to come into force by late 2020 or early 2021 and have highlighted that this will also be dependent on where other Government priorities may take precedence.
However, in his letter to the Housing Secretary, Mr Copley called upon the Government to swiftly scrap section 21 after the closure of the consultation this weekend. He said this was a “vital first step” towards providing more robust protections for the growing number of private renters.
Mr Copley also argued that the Government should take a further step towards sparking wider reform in the Private Rented Sector by following the example of other European countries and introducing open-ended tenancies.
Labour’s London Assembly Housing Spokesperson, Tom Copley AM, said:
“The threat of no fault evictions can deter tenants from reporting problems with repairs to their landlords for fear of retaliatory eviction. Abolishing ‘no fault’ evictions is the vital first step in protecting tenants in an often unfair and unforgiving Private Rented Sector.
“There were thousands of no-fault evictions in London last year, but this is likely to be the tip of the iceberg. So we need to get on with scrapping section 21 without dither or delay.
“We know that the end of a private tenancy is now the leading cause of homelessness in the capital. It is clear that the sector needs quite radical reform as a matter of urgency.
“Of course, after abolishing section 21, the Government have a golden opportunity to go further and follow the lead of many other European countries by introducing open-ended tenancies and rent controls.”
Notes to editors
- Tom Copley AM’s letter to the Housing Minister, Robert Jenrick MP, can be found attached;
- More information about the Government’s consultation to abolish the use of section 21 notices, which has a deadline of 12th October 2019, can be found here;
- The latest Government data shows that between March 2018 to April 2019, 3,380 households in the capital were threatened with homelessness and owed a duty by their local authority after being served a section 21 notice;
- Tom Copley AM is a Londonwide Assembly Member.