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Labour demands extra protection for tenants facing ā€œticking timebomb"

The Labour head of a special ‘taskforce’ looking at London housing issues in the light of the Coronavirus crisis says he wants the government to impose a ‘triple lock’ to protect private tenants.

Tom Copley - the Labour deputy mayor for housing and residential development on the London Assembly - says the government should immediately implement his triple lock protection for private renters by increasing welfare support, ending ‘no fault’ evictions and stopping evictions of any tenant who falls into arrears due to Covid-19.

Copley made the demand at the first meeting of the new Covid-19 Housing Delivery Taskforce that he chairs, which has a TUC representative on it, along with some borough councils and the London Assembly.


Copley says he wants the London housing sector to do more than just bounce back after the Coronavirus crisis, but to emerge with a renewed focus on delivery of the social and other genuinely affordable homes London needs.

The taskforce will meet every fortnight to focus on specific challenges and consider appropriate responses and interventions that can be brought forward from across the sector.

A statement from Copley says there are “millions of low paid renters in London now facing increased financial uncertainty” thanks to what he calls “a ticking timebomb of debt, arrears and widespread evictions over the coming months.”

“The 2008 financial crisis demonstrated that an economic shock can have a sustained impact on the housing market and the delivery of new homes. It is essential that planning starts now to ensure London recovers as quickly as possible and the sector continues to deliver the homes Londoners need at pace and at scale” he says.

“The public sector must play a key role. Having begun to rebuild their house building capacity, supported by the Mayor, London’s councils are in a much stronger position to support this recovery than they were 12 years ago” Copley continues.

“I want us to do more than just bounce back from this. I want London’s housing sector to emerge from this crisis with improved resilience, a greater sense of co-operation and a new found resolve to deliver the genuinely affordable homes that London so desperately needs.”

  • dale james

    Lets get Labour's definition of 'Due to Coronavirus' first eh?


    That's easy, "Because the tenant said it was". Typical Labour supporting those who won't pay rent at the drop of a hat. The VAST MAJORITY OF TENANTS are responsible tenants and are doing their best to pay rents due. They also, when it is explained to them, understand that a "mortgage holiday" is not a holiday, but deferred payment with interest still being charge and the mortgage payments being either increased or extended to cover the misnamed holiday.

  • icon
    • 29 April 2020 09:13 AM

    I think this idiotic Labour response only works if LL are prepared to subsidise feckless tenants who couldn't be bothered to have savings to cover income loss.

    LL will never be able to recover rent defaults..
    Labour is proposing a sort of regulated tenancy.
    When that was an actual Govt policy the PRS was only 7% of the housing market.
    Currently it is about 19%.
    So where will all the tenants live if the PRS reduces to 7%!?
    No way will LL tolerate quasi regulated tenancies.
    There would be mass S21 issued

  • Mark Wilson

    Paul, it strikes me that Landlords will end up paying their defaulting tenants to leave, and on rent regulation, on the abolition of section 21, it will happen.

    PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    We've already seen that ploy by a Tenant trying to bribe a Landlord to pay him 3 months Rent to leave, otherwise he'll stay for what will be about another 12 months before eviction by Bailiff comes into play, and won't be paying rent.
    My advice would be NOT to succumb to this Blackmail, but come the ' Revolution, i.e. Labour's Ticking time-bomb ' then Landlords must be strictly vigilant on any tenants background they consider with the Absolute strongest of vetting and background checks.
    A lot of the defaulting - blackmailing tenants are going to have nowhere to live !
    We've already seen a letter from one Local Authority to a tenant in rental default, telling the Tenant in the unusually, strongest terms to sort the rent out with the Landlords, or don't come to them for Housing, as they'll be considered as Intentionally Homeless.
    I think this is a step All Councils are going to HAVE to take, as they'll be swamped with applicants.
    Landlords, stay strong, there's a revolution a-coming.

    • 30 April 2020 03:38 AM

    Oh!! Absolutely totally agree with you.
    LL will make business decisions.
    Paying bribes to incentivise rent defaulting tenants to vacate will occur.
    A lot cheaper than a 2 year eviction process!!
    LL will do anything to avoid mortgage default.
    Many feckless tenants will game the system once S21 has gone.
    LL face massive business risks in future.
    I doubt many of them have a clue how bad it will be.
    I do which is why I want to get out of AST lettings ASAP.
    Govt is very effectively forcing LL to become a bank of last resort for FREE tenant borrowing at the LL great expense.
    It is simply scandalous that the system facilitates feckless tenants from paying rent while still allowing them to occupy the LL property.

    However it seens that society expects LL to pay for feckless tenants.
    LL need to wakeup and realise this Govt is forcing them to be free housing providers of last resort.

    Things are highly unlikely to change in the future and so LL must carefully consider their position.

  • jeremy clarke

    Does it really matter what anyone from labour thinks? They've been shown as a shower of idiot that haven't a clue, the mayor's days in office must surely be numbered having achieved nothing. Perhaps a taxpayer funded 1 way ticket to Venezuela should be voted on?

    PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Trouble is Jeremy, that the Conservatives have adopted in part - stolen, a number of Labour's proposals for the PRS and the gap between the two parties on Housing is narrower that it should be for an allegedly Business-supporting party.
    It so happens that one of the very few things Labour are right about, is that there is to e a 'time-bomb' of Rental default ( not just in UK ) post-Covid.

  • icon

    Hopefully this shower will never again be elected if so private landlords might as well throw in the towel

    • 30 April 2020 03:49 AM

    I was going to put all my properties up for auction the day after Labour might have won the GE.

    But as others have mentioned the Tories are doing a very good job at emulating Labour!!

    Taxation will be further increased for LL as the Tories know the electorate isn't concerned with LL being taxed even more.
    The public won't blame Govt for there being fewer rental properties.
    The public is too thick to see any connection between Govt policy and the decline in rental properties.

  • Barry X

    I meant to comment on this yesterday but wasn't well enough (I'm a long term chemotherapy patient and at an exhausted and "weak" stage of my regular treatment) so only read it on my phone and never quite made it to the office... therefore probably few people, perhaps none will read this. Never mind.

    All I wanted to say is this is simply AN EXCUSE by Labour to push their long term agenda to undermine landlords and make it as cushy and convenient as possible for tenants. Their latest demand for the same-old further undermining, or outright abolishing, of our vital right to serve a s.21 notice (or close equivalent) has NOTHING to do with the covid-19 crisis - that's just Labours' latest/current cynical excuse (lie) for once again calling for "urgent action".

    Labour must have reralised a long time ago that no sensible or sane landlord would vote for them, but millions of delusional, ignorant and politically-deceived tenants (typically quite young and recently come out of highly political, screwed-up institutions called "universities" but nothing like what they once were, or serving the purpose they were originally intended for, including the "red brick ones" many of which were once excellent).

    So offering no or free rent, no risk of eviction no matter how much annoyance, damage or payment default you've stacked up, guaranteed long rental agreements that you (the tenant) can walk away fro any time you like but your poor old landlord is stuck with. Heavy fines for landlords for more or less anything - often nothing even to do with them, e.g. the tenant causes a lot of condensation in a well maintained property them relentlessly blames the landlord and gets the council o their side to back them and join in with bullying their landlord.....

    The sad things is - as I've often posted here - we no longer have a "real" Tory party, only a sort of "New Labour in Tory Clothing" party. Their plan seems to be "if you like Labour you'll LOVE and vote for us (because we're more or less the same but present ourselves better)".

    Don't trust ANY of them, or our useless "professional" bodies, like the feeble NRLA, that DO NOT properly represent us or our disappearing rights or businesses.


    Barry, I assure you that many people will read your post and I thank you for it. May I also wish you well during your treatment.

    Sadly you are correct. The Tories are chasing the votes of the young renters who are unlikely to vote for them until they have, as Judge Judy would put it, been properly cooked!

    S l
    • S l
    • 30 April 2020 19:24 PM

    Barry, I hope you well with your treatment. I often read that dark coloured vegetables and fruit helps but to what extend and proof i have none.
    That said, the young renters are no fools. They know they are getting freebies and no responsibilities and they liked it. Its time we put out the consequences of the government action to the newspaper and social media so these young fools will understand the lash back that hit them with a vengence.


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