30 Aug 23

The Metropolitan Police has been advised by tenant activists and the London Mayor on developing rule changes for evictions.

The changes include a presumption against eviction and reflect “the needs of tenants” according to a statement from the force.

London Labour Mayor Khan says: “Until now, there have been few protections in place to safeguard London’s renters from illegal evictions.

“These new, robust guidelines will ensure that London renters not only have a much clearer sense of their rights, but that frontline police officers are far better equipped to respond to incidences of tenants being harassed, threatened or illegally forced out of their homes by their landlords.”

The guidance states that if the eviction is out of hours, and a court-appointed bailiff is not present, then the eviction is considered to be illegal.

A Met spokesperson says: “Starting at the point that the effort of a landlord or representative to evict an individual/individuals is illegal will prompt officers to ensure that there is a bailiff in place who is in possession of the relevant paperwork, and that due process – as per the legislation – has been followed.”

The Met says it sought advice from activists in Generation Rent and a spokesperson for the pro-renter group says: “Renters need the full protection of the law when threatened with an illegal eviction.

“Police officers must not dismiss them as civil matters or, worse still, assist any landlord in these criminal acts.”

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