Sadiq Khan has referred to the bill being dropped as a ‘huge betrayal’

The Mayor of London has called last week’s shelving of the renters reform bill “a huge betrayal” of London’s 2.7 million private renters.

City Hall analysis revealed that no-fault evictions in London have risen by 52% in the past year, more than five times the rate seen in the rest of England and Wales.


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Mayor Sadiq Khan hit out at the government’s failure to pass the bill

Ministry of Justice figures for Q1 2024 show there were 11,880 no-fault eviction claims in London in the year ending March 2024, a 52% increase from 7,834 in the previous year.

City Hall said this rise compares with a 9% increase in the rest of England and Wales over the same period.

According to City Hall, more than 30,000 renting households have faced a no-fault eviction claim since the government pledged to abolish them in its 2019 manifesto.

The renters reform bill, introduced to the House of Commons in May last year, aimed to end no-fault (Section 21) evictions and abolish fixed-term tenancies, in order to replace them with rolling contracts.

On 24 April, the bill passed its final reading in the Commons, but a series of amendments resulted in the indefinite delay of ending Section 21 evictions until a review of the courts system has been completed.

>> See also: Landlords and estate agents seek further changes to Renters’ Reform Bill as it returns to the Lords

>> See also: Report commissioned by Labour proposes introduction of private rent caps

The renters reform bill had returned to the House of Lords on 15 May for a second reading. However, with the general election called on 22 May the government had to decide what parliamentary business to conclude before the dissolution of parliament yesterday (30 May).

Any legislation not passed into law before parliament is dissolved falls. The final piece of legislation to be debated in the House of Lords last Friday was the leasehold and freehold reform bill, which was passed, without a ground rent cap for existing leaseholders. 

Sadiq Khan said: “The government’s failure to pass the Renters (Reform) Bill before the dissolution of Parliament today is a huge betrayal of London’s 2.7m private renters, who are left with the threat of eviction hanging over their heads.

“These latest statistics from City Hall are shocking and the unacceptable delay to this vital bill will leave even more renters in the capital at unnecessary risk of housing insecurity and homelessness.”

Khan added: “I’m doing all I can to build a better, fairer London for everyone by supporting tenants, but I cannot act alone. Renters’ rights must be a national priority and no-fault evictions banned for good.”

Matthew Pennycook, shadow minister for housing and planning said on X, formerly Twitter: “The Tories promised renters in 2019 they would scrap section 21 evictions. Sadiq Khan is right to call out their failure to honour that commitment. Labour will deliver where the Tories have failed and pass renters reform legislation immediately abolishing ‘no-fault’ evictions”.

Shadow housing secretary and deputy leader of the Labour Party, Angela Rayner, said that her party will scrap Section 21 on its first day in office, if it wins the next general election.

Deputy prime minister Oliver Dowden stated that “it just hasn’t been possible to get this legislation through in the wash-up period” due to the large volume of legislation on the books and the limited time between the calling of the general election and the dissolution of Parliament yesterday.

Dowden added that the government has built two and a half million homes since 2010, stating that “Sadiq Khan and the Labour Party have the poorest housebuilding record pretty much anywhere in the country”.

City Hall statistics indicate that overall housing completions under Sadiq Khan stand at over 36,000 homes a year on average, which the mayor’s office claims is 10,000 more per year than under Boris Johnson.