Government plans for a pre-action protocol to help regulate possession proceedings within the private rented sector will fail to prevent a cliff edge in evictions once the ban is lifted, London mayor Sadiq Khan has claimed.

This pre-action protocol would require private landlords to meet the same rules as social landlords before issuing possession proceedings at the end of the moratorium.

They would then have a duty to reach out to tenants to discuss their situation, and to try to agree an affordable repayment plan. Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has previously suggested that this will allow tenants to stay in their homes, and to deal with rent they haven’t been able to pay.

Overwhelmed

But Khan claims local authority housing services could be overwhelmed in a matter of weeks when the current eviction ban ends on 23rd August, if the Government doesn’t step in to help London’s two million private renters.

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He believes it has failed to protect those who have run up rental debts during the pandemic from eviction proceedings and homelessness, and warns: “The capital also faces the impending prospect of a tsunami of evictions.” 

Khan has suggested measures including emergency legislation to prevent landlords serving eviction notices to tenants affected by COVID-19 and a boost to the welfare benefits system to cover any rent shortfall.

In a letter to Jenrick, he says: “The imbalance of power between renters and landlords means that the Government’s reliance on them agreeing ‘affordable repayment plans’ is unrealistic, particularly in London where the shortage of housing creates competition amongst tenants and gives them little option but to agree to a landlord’s terms.”

Read more about Sadiq Khan.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Unfortunately, allowing tenants to accrue debt they cannot pay during the postponement of evictions just puts off judgement day.

    There has been very little financial help for LLs during this crisis so it is unfair to expect them to absorb this loss.

    If tenants can no longer afford their rent what can a LL do other than evict?

    If the past Govts hadn’t sold off all the Council housing or had built more social housing this would be less of a problem but expecting LLs to pick up the pieces of poor governance is unrealistic.

    It is one unholy mess 🙁

  2. So this idiot Khan complains about the shortage of housing yet he supports S24!!!

    S24 is forcing many LL to sell up!!!

    All the other anti-LL policies are making LL sell up.

    The eviction process is dysfunctional and will lead to even more LL selling up.

    Why can’t the dopey lefties like Khan work out that harder you make life for LL the fewer there will be!!!??

    This results in tenants being victims.
    Few LL need to be LL but tenants desperately need them to be so.

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