Friday 5 May: The government must prevent landlords using rent hikes to get around the upcoming ban of section 21 ‘no-fault’ eviction, say renters in the London Renters Union (LRU). Current plans for the Renters Reform Bill, expected to be published next week, are open to a range of abuses and would fail to properly abolish ‘no-fault’ eviction.
Four years after the government promised to end section 21, renters are facing an evictions crisis. ‘No-fault’ evictions spiked over the Winter, off the back of skyrocketing rents. Tenants who report disrepair are twice as likely to be evicted in retaliation.
Last year’s white paper proposes to bring renters security in their homes and empower tenants to challenge mistreatment. But without hard limits on in-tenancy rent increases, landlords can use large rent hikes to force unwanted tenants out, leaving renters just as powerless to challenge dangerous conditions.
LRU is also calling for stronger protections against fraudulent use of the new section 8 grounds, which enables a landlord to evict tenants on the basis of moving a family member in, or selling up.
LRU began campaigning for an end to section 21 in 2018. LRU campaigned for an eviction ban during the covid-19 lockdowns. The union is currently calling for a rent freeze.
Clara Hill, Spokesperson for the London Renters Union, says: “The tories must not give with one hand and take with the other. If Michael Gove is serious about bringing renters security in our homes, he must ensure this new legislation brings an end to all no-fault evictions, especially the use of unaffordable rent rises to get tenants out.
The tories have kicked this bill into the long grass for years, and it is only the growing strength of the housing movement that has forced them to deliver change. But after four years of broken promises, we are now facing an evictions crisis with millions of renters struggling to meet housing costs. The government must recognise that there can be no security without rent security and act to protect renters from the threat of no-fault eviction via rent hike.”