Local London Assembly Member John Biggs has accused the Mayor of leaving renters “at the mercy of landlords” after new Shelter figures revealed that 1 in 44 private renters in Tower Hamlets face eviction each year. John’s comments come six months after Boris Johnson launched his voluntary London Rental Standard (LRS) which, despite aims to get 100,000 of London’s 300,000 landlords signed up to better protections for tenants, has only 13,499 landlords on board according to the most recent City Hall figures.
The new research shows that in total 44 privately renting households in Tower Hamlets faced claims of eviction last year, Shelter found this meant 1 in 44 households facing eviction. Tower Hamlets has the fifteenth highest eviction rate in the England.
The report from housing charity Shelter found that the high cost and volatile nature of the London house rental market meant that “it can take just one thing, like losing your job or falling ill, to put your home at risk.” Since 2011 private sector rents in London have soared by 21% and recent estimates found that 39% of private rented sector tenants now live in poverty - a larger share than in either the social or owner-occupying tenures.
John Biggs said the number of people facing dramatic rent rises and evictions showed that the capitals rental market wasn’t working for many Londoners. He criticised the Mayor of London’s voluntary approach to landlord regulation and called for stronger statutory protection for private renters.
John Biggs AM, Labour London Assembly Member for City & East London, said:
“The fact that 1 in 44renters in Tower Hamlets have faced eviction in the last year shows how challenging it can be to rent in the capital. Boris Johnson pledged to get 100,000 landlords signed up to his minimum standards scheme yet to date only 13,500 landlords have joined.
“With 40% of private sector renters living in poverty, rents rising and complaints soaring, Boris’ soft touch approach does little to help the majority of London’s renters. Without proper statutory protection, many renters are left at the mercy of landlords.
“Instead of another empty voluntary initiative we need to see real action to ensure decent standards and fair treatment in the private rented sector. Things like longer tenancies and caps on rent increases would make a real difference to Tower Hamlet’s renters.
“Whilst most landlords treat their tenants properly these figures suggest that renters have very little protections and too easily face the threat of eviction.”