MP Tulip Siddiq backs calls for an end to 'no fault' evictions

Campaigners from Generation Rent outside Parliament

Campaigners from Generation Rent outside Parliament - Credit: Generation Rent

Campaigners spent an hour outside Parliament in the pouring rain this week, to campaign about the lack of safeguards for renters. 

The government placed a ban on evictions during lockdown, encouraging landlords to negotiate with tenants if they could not pay due to loss of income or ill-health – but at the end of the month, those protections end.

Kilburn-based agency Advice for Renters whose HQ is in Willesden Lane, wants the government to honour the pledges it gave at the last two general elections to restore security of tenure, and to abolish Section 21 "no fault" evictions. The government says reforms are still planned.

Section 21 of the Housing Act allows private landlords to repossess their properties from assured shorthold tenants, without having to establish fault on the part of the tenant. In some cases tenants have been evicted just for asking repairs to be carried out.

Director Jacky Peacock said: "We really don’t think it’s too much to ask for private renters to feel secure in their homes, with the same peace of mind as those in other housing tenures.”

MP for Hampstead and Kilburn Tulip Siddiq backed the protesters. She said: “Advice for Renters does amazing work to support the over 30 per cent of my constituents in Hampstead and Kilburn who rent privately."

The MP added: "For far too long, the rules have been stacked against renters and bad landlords have been able to get away with walking all over them."

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Robert Taylor, manager for the Camden Federation of Private Tenants, said: “While people are desperate for things to get back to normal after the Covid-19 lockdowns, we cannot return to 'business as usual' in the private rented sector.

"Now, really is the time for the government to turn its words into actions and reform the fastest growing sector of housing.”

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, said that abolition of Section 21 evictions is still on the cards, but at some point in the future. 

They added:  “As the economy reopens it is right that these measures are now being lifted and we are delivering a fairer and more effective private rental sector that works for both landlords and tenants.

“Our £352 billion support package has helped renters throughout the pandemic and prevented a build-up of rent arrears.

"We also took unprecedented action to help keep people in their homes by extending notice periods and pausing evictions at the height of the pandemic."