Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Mayor of London urges action to tackle rogue landlords

Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Mayor of London urges action to tackle rogue landlords

The Mayor of London has urged the government to take immediate action to protect renters from eviction and homelessness as statistics from the Mayor’s ‘report a rogue landlord or agent’ online tool have indicated that reports of concerns about landlords or letting agents have more than doubled during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. With the pause on evictions coming to an end on 11 January 2021, the Mayor is urging the government to act to extend the ban on evictions until March 2021 to reflect measures in place for commercial renters, as well as provide a support package for renters.

More than 1,400 complaints of advantage being taken by rogue landlords between March and December 2020 have been recorded by the tool and around one in five of the complaints received reported unfair evictions, despite the government’s ban on evictions for most renters during the period.

The Mayor is also requesting that a support package be put in place to prevent a further increase in evictions and homelessness. The suggested measures include:

• providing grants to support renters

• providing the Mayor with powers to implement a two-year freeze in London as an emergency measure

• increasing local housing allowance rates and scrapping the benefit cap

• ending 'Section 21' 'no fault' evictions and allowing judges discretion to refuse a possession claim where as a result of coronavirus, arrears have accrued

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has stated:

'These latest figures show the huge pressure on renters during the pandemic. It is now time for the Government finally to take the needs of private renters seriously and help those struggling to keep a roof over their heads.'

Source: Mayor calls for action as reports of rogue landlords soar

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