Two senior London politicians are backing a campaign to scrap the powers of agents and landlords to evict tenants under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1998.
Sian Berry, a Green Party member of the London Assembly, and Labour assembly member Tom Copley got a motion through the assembly claiming that S21 ‘no fault’ evictions caused insecurity and stress for tenants and could discourage them from complaining about sub-standard conditions.
Now the pair want London Mayor Sadiq Khan to back the campaign to abolish S21 and lobby the government for a change in the law.
“The Assembly has firmly put its weight behind Generation Rent’s campaign to end S21. London renters need to feel secure in their homes and know they can’t be thrown out on the streets for no reason” says Berry.
“I’ve known far too many friends and colleagues forced to move out of their homes at really short notice at times when they would least choose to move. Having to move at short notice is one of the worst parts of being a private renter and ending S21 would make a dramatic difference and solve this problem” she claims.
Meanwhile Labour’s Copley says: “Our tenancy laws were introduced 30 years ago when only one in 10 Londoners rented from a private landlord. Now more than a quarter of us do, including increasing numbers of families with children.
"It is unacceptable that landlords can use S21 to evict tenants for no reason. Private tenants deserve security to protect them from arbitrary or revenge eviction, the fear of which makes tenants reluctant to come forward to complain about substandard housing.
"The government has just announced a consultation on three year private tenancies, but this will be meaningless unless no fault eviction is abolished. I hope the Mayor will use this consultation to urge the government to abolish S21 eviction."
The full text of the motion is:
“This Assembly welcomes the campaign to end section 21 – the clause of the Housing Act 1988 that allows private landlords to evict tenants without reason. We acknowledge that the threat of a no-fault eviction causes insecurity and stress for Londoners who rent privately and can discourage tenants from complaining about substandard housing. We welcome the action taken by the Scottish government to restrict no-fault evictions. We urge the Mayor to state his backing for the campaign to abolish section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 and to lobby government for this change in the law.”