Sadiq Khan has called for a rent freeze for the next two years in order to prevent a rise in homelessness.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is demanding a two-year rent freeze to prevent mass evictions in London as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. “At every stage of this pandemic, renters have been an afterthought,” said Khan, who will be speaking to the government today to highlight the severity of the situation.
The proposal comes just a few days before courts restart eviction hearings, which were put on hold during the lockdown. They will resume on Monday September 21, and judges will begin evaluating a backlog of cases brought forward by landlords. In a tweet sent out earlier today, Khan said “The end of the furlough scheme means more renters in the capital are facing financial stress and anxiety and could face eviction because they can’t pay rent.”
There are currently 2.2 million renters in the capital, with over 500,000 struggling to keep up with rent payments, according to research conducted by The Greater London Authority and YouGov. So there is absolutely no surprise as to why fears surrounding homelessness are increasing. And Khan warns that if the issue isn’t resolved shortly, hundreds of thousands of Londoners will be facing eviction. Using the German capital as an example, the Labour Mayor said “If Berlin can freeze rents for five years, there’s no reason London shouldn’t be able to freeze rents for two years in these extraordinary times.”
To say that 2020 has thrown a few curve balls our way would be a gross understatement! Thankfully, UK residents and businesses have received some support over the last few months to ease the burden, from the furlough scheme and the eviction ban, to the Eat Out To Help Out scheme. Here’s hoping that the two-year rent freeze will be next on the list and that Sadiq Khan’s proposal will get the green light.