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Labour says Covid is no excuse for delaying on scrapping Section 21

A Labour housing politician is accusing the government of using Coronavirus as an excuse for dragging its feet over scrapping Section 21.

The government is committed to scrapping the eviction power for landlords as part of its Renters Reform Bill, which has been delayed because of Coronavirus.

But Labour says it’s time for the government to take action.


“Shelter is the most basic human need and nobody should be without it. The last thing we want to see is anybody losing their homes, and finding themselves sleeping rough or in unsuitable accommodation” says Labour’s London Assembly housing spokesman Murad Qureshi.

“People have enough to deal with when it comes to trying to stay safe during a global pandemic, not to mention the additional toll that pandemic is taking on some people’s capacity to keep a roof over their heads. It’s incredibly frustrating to see the government continue to drag their heels over putting an end to no fault evictions.

“Using the pandemic as an excuse for inaction is also completely unacceptable, especially when hundreds of households in London were threatened with homelessness due to the issuing of section 21 notices during the first lockdown.

“On top of all this, the government are short-changing London when it comes to ensuring rough sleepers have access to safe accommodation over the winter.

“For the sake of basic compassion and containing the spread of the new, more infectious strain of the virus, the Government must urgently make up this funding gap and bring forward their plans to outlaw no fault evictions”.

Qureshi has written to the government to express his concern. 

He’s been told that the Section 21 evictions ban will be introduced with the passing of the Renters’ Reform Bill. This will happen after the government responds to the formal consultation over the ban.

This response will happen after the “urgent concerns of this [Coronavirus] emergency” says the government.


The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government says the government has  provided local authorities with £3.2m of targeted funding to help those at risk to self-isolate, alongside a separate and wider £1.6 billion fund, of which a portion could be allocated to support homeless people and vulnerable groups.

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    Please stop writing Labour plan this or Labour want that (first words of heading and article). We won't have a general election for 4 years. We're not in an election campaign. No-one is writing a general election manifesto right now, and won't until 2024. Labour can do nothing right now as they are not in government. Concentrate on what the Conservatives are saying and doing, as they are in power.


    Oh I dont know... I think it relevent to understand the semantics and emotional messaging of the Opposition and their position. You cant beat some good old fashioned popularist rhetoric to try and lift up public opinion polls to an effort to assert pressure on the incumbent government on policy.

  • icon

    Does anyone use Section 21 just for fun or do they have a genuine reason ? I think the latter - not helped by a lack of support and punitive regulation / taxation that does little to encourage and develop a long term stable lettings market.


    I don’t think the latter, I know the latter. In 30 years I have never served a S21 notice ‘for the sake it’. Any decent, truthful Tenant that has faced difficult times, I have supported and worked with. These so called ‘new’ mediation protocols have been used by Landlurds for years and years.
    Lying, cheating, dirty, disrespectful, thieving Tenants however have been served notice by me. Simple life message to those barely out of nappies who support Tenants on block. What goes around.....

  • James B

    Make no difference we can’t evict anyway
    All landlords should be getting home owner working guarantors going forward now it’s essential to combat the legislation

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    These organisations that are intent on driving private landlords from the sector need to have a good look at the situation. Corporate landlords will not be a 'fix all' situation. Less competition will undoubtedly lead to higher rents.
    If section 21's are to be axed then a robust fair system to both tenants and landlords must be put in place. Lets's get this right now so that we are not fixing the next problem in a few years time.

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    Surely you must mean no excuse for Scrapping Section 21, (must be a typo).


    I don't think there is any doubt about it sec 21 is going we may as well get used to that one, but we need something fair to both landlord and tenant to replace it.

  • icon

    No Andrew I don't accept it. I am not getting used to it I Campaigned too hard and long to have it introduced in the first place and only for Sir George Young becoming Housing Minister it might not have happened. At that time it was impossible to find somewhere to rent because if you allowed in a Tenant he immediately became a Sitting Tenant and your Property became worthless over night, do you want this situation again ?. I remember only too well only a handful of letting agents in London over all, not a dozen or more in every Borough like now. Any of this would not have happened without Section 21 and all you LL's out there would not be LL's or own Property think on, no no no.
    This last 10 years has been diabolical with unfair regulations imposing huge costs & work load on LL's all not unpaid for by anyone except the LL, don't try to tell me Rent pays for everything by Magic, now then anything replacing S21 is a non-starter more red tape & bull sugar tying us to the desk wasting our time instead of letting us run our Business.

  • icon

    It's ok for Labour to demand that Brexit be delayed for Covid 19 but not section 21. I think I can see 2 faces.

  • icon

    Interesting perspective from Michael Foley. The main issue here imho would be that lenders will not be happy to lend if the situation as Michael suggests becomes the norm!

  • icon

    Labour says: “Shelter is the most basic human need and nobody should be without it".

    Actually food/water is the most basic human need, but I don't see supermarkets being forced to continue to provide for me if I don't pay for it, or to allow me onto their premises if I don't behave in an acceptable manner, on the basis that their customers need to eat.

    On the basis of their statement, government and Labour should commit to massive amounts of social housing projects so that nobody goes without, regardless of how they behave or whether or not they can pay.

    Landlords should then be allowed to run their businesses on a proper financial basis, taking money in return for providing people with accommodation as long as the arrangement works for both parties.

  • English Landlord

    Oh no Labour, and Covid is no excuse for Tenants not to pay their rent. I will be waiting on getting my 3 months rent paid back as it should. Does the Government allow people to keep their working tax credits if they have been overpaid? Hmm think no! So make sure if you bring in some stupid legislation in favour of the Tenants that you can guarantee any rent being paid by them. Thank god your not running the country. Better the devil we know.

  • icon

    Mr Marshall my friend the current situation is already the norm, they are not giving us something its something they are taken away. I don't worry about Lenders too busy trying to hang onto what I have got. The Lenders are not affected by Section 21 they can get vacant possession at anytime they want and only takes a couple of months, no need for them to supply Gas Certificates, Energy Performance Certificates, electric Certs or 'How to Rent' rubbish, in order to go to Court. The fact is it only matter when its Lenders money, when its LL's money no protection free for all, why can't we have the same rights as them, when it our money at stake ? then no need for s21. Regarding if Lenders will not Lend that's fine the can go out of Business but they won't.

  • girish mehta

    Landlord need to control over their assets. And investments it is not for tenants or councils or politicians to decide. It is a business and if the returns and risk can’t be controlled then landlords will leave the market orbit invest. Be careful on what you wish. If landlords leave the market there will be less homes to rent. Unless these groups can find money and invest in building new housing which they have failed to do for several decades. Less properties will be available to rent resulting in Lower standards and higher rent.with ever increasing media hype and politicians jumping on media to promote their ow. Agenda. Higher taxes and pressure the to improve and upgrade their properties due to various laws there is a limit when landlords throw in the travel.
    You can repeal what ever acts you want in favour of tenants
    But this will harm the very people they are trying to help

    Politicians will move on to create more damage elsewhere
    And further their carrier leaving landlords and tenants to clear their meds
    Labour and conservatives have loyalty to their friends and their Own carriers and to the party
    And are desperate for votes to keep them on office
    Make this people accountable and don’t believe their lies.

  • George Dawes

    Labour are the most hypocritical political party as they pretend to be for the workers and to have a heart and so compassionate etc etc 'barf' but they're just as corrupt as the tories if not more so , at least the tories are obvious and don't pretend to care about people

    Lord this , Baron that , Kinnock etc etc

    As for their incompetent corrupt financially moronic councils ...

    Make me want to vomit with their crass hypocritical garbage


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