Sadiq Khan has today said that the government should introduce a ‘triple lock’ of measure that would make it almost impossible for landlords to evict many tenants after the Coronavirus has eased.
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has called for the government to go even further to protect tenants and wants to see a ‘triple lock’ of measures that would make it almost impossible for landlords to evict tenants after the Coronavirus pandemic has passed.
Khan says he wants to see the government:
- Increase benefit support for renters through higher Local Housing Allowance rates and a suspended Benefit Cap.
- Permanently ban private landlords from evicting tenants who have run up rent arrears because of the Coronavirus pandemic and making Section 8 arrears’ grounds discretionary in court proceedings.
- Bring forward ban of Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions.
“For too long, renters in the capital and across the country have been denied the security they need in the place they call home. The current crisis has brought these issues into stark relief,” says Khan.
“With millions of low paid renters in London now facing increased financial uncertainty we face a ticking timebomb of debt, arrears and widespread evictions once the suspension in court proceedings is lifted.
The National Residential Landlords’ Association has supported one aspect of Khan’s proposals; to increase government support for tenants through the benefits system.
“Recent polling has indicated that just two per cent of private tenants have had to stop paying rent due to the pandemic whilst 78 per cent have not had to make any changes to their living situation. This shows that the vast majority of tenancies are continuing as normal which we welcome,” says its Chief Executive Ben Beadle.
“For those tenants who are struggling, by far the best solution is to ensure they are supported to prevent arrears building. We therefore welcome the Mayor’s calls to increase the Local Housing Allowance. In addition, we repeat our call on the Government to scrap the five week wait for the first payment of Universal Credit immediately and ensure tenants can have the housing element of the Credit paid directly to their landlord if they wish.”
The Mayor’s call for action is also being backed by legal charity Safer Renting, who spokesperson Ben Reeve-Lewis, says:“From what we are seeing on the ground, Government guidance for landlords and tenants to work together reasonably during this crisis isn’t getting through to the rogue landlord market.
“We are seeing no let-up in cases of harassment and illegal eviction. It’s just business as usual.”
Khan was due to face re-election on May 7th but has now been given an extra year in office as Mayor of London after the election was postponed until May 2021.