Scrapping S21 isn’t enough – cap rent rises too, say London politicians

The scrapping of Section 21 eviction powers has been welcomed by the London Assembly – but apparently it doesn’t go far enough at curbing what some politicians see as the excesses of the private rental sector.

Sian Berry – chair of the London Assembly Housing Committee and a national co-leader of the Green Party – describes the ban as “great news for tenants who are in constant fear of losing their home.”

But she says: “A loophole landlords still have in getting tenants out of their homes is by unreasonably raising rents. This is why in our rent stabilisation report we said the Mayor should lobby for constraints on rent rises within tenancies, as well as greater security.”

In December London’s Labour mayor Sadiq Khan said in a letter to The Guardian: “I have long advocated such reforms; in 2013, I suggested reforms could give renters the right to longer-term tenancies and predictable rents. The housing crisis is now having such an effect on a generation of Londoners that the arguments in favour of rent stabilisation and control are becoming overwhelming.”

Currently the London mayor has no effective powers to control private rents.

Sian Berry, in welcoming the scrapping of Section 21, says: “Everyone deserves the peace of mind that if they look after the property they are living in, there should be no worry about whether they can carry on living there or not.”

She continues: “Moving at short notice is one of the most stressful situations a renter can find themselves in, especially in a city like London where rents are high, and property is scarce. In our upcoming report on temporary accommodation, we will be looking at the many challenges faced by tenants who don’t have a settled home.

“This decision by the government protects renters from unscrupulous landlords who dish out arbitrary or revenge evictions. The removal of section 21 will go a long way to provide security for tenants across London and beyond.

“However, the government must be mindful that the announcement risks pre-emptive notices being served which, as we have seen during our investigation for our upcoming report, risks council services for people made homeless being overwhelmed.”

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