The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has launched an online tool to support tenants across the capital, potentially invalidating “no-fault” eviction notices and leading to rent repayments of thousands of pounds.
The new Property Licence Checker will allow tenants to see whether their landlord has the correct licence for the property they are letting. Landlords must obtain a licence to rent out shared houses and flats, or types of converted accommodation, all of which are particularly common among students, young professionals, and people on lower incomes.
“With nearly a fifth of London’s private rented accommodation not meeting basic standards, it is vital that every privately rented property is licensed so landlords can be held to account for the conditions their tenants live in,” said Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, adding that the new tool will help “to redress the imbalance of power that currently exists in the London private rented sector.”
Landlords who rent properties without the correct licence could face a £30,000 fine from their local council and a Rent Repayment Order, meaning they have to give up to 12 months rent back to tenants affected.
And unlicensed properties are exempt from Section 21 eviction notices, sometimes called “no fault” evictions, in which the landlord does not need to give a reason to reclaim the property from tenants.
Section 21 evictions were banned by the Government during the worst of the pandemic, but since the ban was lifted at the end of September campaigners have warned more than 40,000 renters could face eviction over the winter.