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OTHER GUIDES & TIPS

Khan funds group “intervening on the doorstep” at evictions

London Mayor Sadiq Khan is demanding the government finally abolish Section 21 eviction powers - and claims over 30,000 households in the capital have been evicted since 2019. 

Khan also says there are also fears that the prospect of S21 becoming illegal under the renters Reform Bill could fuel a spike in evictions as landlords act now to avoid the ban. 

Ministry of Justice data shows that in London, S21 evictions have apparently risen 62 per cent in the last year from 7,057 in 2022 to 11,457 in 2023.

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Despite admitting that he has no formal powers over private renting, Khan says he is “committed to standing up for London’s 2.7m private renters “ and so is providing cash for a charity called Cambridge House.

This organisation has a ‘Safer Renting’ programme which, in the words of a statement from Khan’s office, “provides specialist support and advice to private renters in London who are being exploited by rogue landlords and facing immediate illegal eviction. This frequently includes intervening on the doorstep to keep renters in their homes.”

The programme also helps renters find a lawyer or access Legal Aid, where it is available, and tries to secure compensation; obtain a rent repayment order, and/or obtain an injunction to prevent an illegal eviction from happening.

Alongside this, the Mayor is also increasing financial support for his own Better Renting programme, to train local council housing officers to tackle problems in the private rental sector including mould and damp, alleged harassment by landlords and threats of illegal eviction. Nearly 400 housing and environmental health officers have been trained under the Better Renting programme since it launched in November 2019.

Khan says: “Once again London’s 2.7m private renters are left with the threat of eviction hanging over their heads due to ministers’ broken promises. Any sense of relief we felt when the Renters Reform Bill finally limped into Parliament last year has now been washed away by months of dither and delay, followed by reports of the promised reforms now being watered down beyond recognition.

“Meanwhile, in the real world, London renters are losing their homes at a rapidly increasing rate both from the still-legal Section 21 and the actions of unscrupulous rogue landlords.

“I am doing all I can to build a better, fairer London for everyone by supporting tenants but I cannot act alone. The Government must see renter rights as a priority and get this Bill into law as a matter of the highest priority.”

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