Labour MP Tulip Siddiq is urging the Government to immediately outlaw all no-fault evictions so that tenants don’t lose their home as a result of the disease.
Writing in The House, the MP for Hampstead and Kilburn says low income private renters are already living precariously and need the option to defer rent payments.
Siddiq believes the impact of coronavirus could be devastating for many working families, 60% of whom are just one paycheque away from losing their home.
“Statutory Sick Pay of £94.25 won’t come close to covering the cost of rent for most tenants in London. A shocking 63% of private renters have no savings at all, so the loss of a job or income as a result of the virus could mean many thousands are unable to pay rent.”
Renters will not be able to self-isolate if they don’t have security in their homes, she adds.
“The ending of private sector tenancies has become the main single cause of homelessness – the Government must ensure that people aren’t being forced onto the streets as a result of coronavirus.”
She writes: “It may seem tragic that it takes an epidemic like coronavirus to fix these inequalities but if there are opportunities in this situation to improve the plight of the low income private rented sector, we should seize them and act now.
“We must scrap Section 21 and outlaw all ‘no-fault evictions’ urgently. We must also look at other ways of improving the private rented sector, including better standards, properly funded enforcement, longer tenancies, a register of private landlords and rent controls.”
The Labour Party has just published a proposed draft Bill to ban evictions of tenants who fall behind on rent due to coronavirus. It wants the Government to adopt emergency legislation to protect families.