Reforming London's private rental housing

07 Jul 2014

 

Richard Blakeway, Deputy Mayor for Housing, Land and Property tells us why London needs the London Rental Standard.

Today, around two million Londoners rent, from all backgrounds and income levels. That diversity is why the sector is important to London and its economy.

There are of course many Londoners renting who want to buy. That’s why we’ve prioritised funding to help 50,000 to own their own home through the Mayor’s First Steps scheme.

Renting is also the first option for many moving here for the first time. Indeed, the number of people renting privately has doubled in the last 20 years, and is predicted to grow for at least the next ten.

For too long, policymakers and politicians have ignored the private rental sector. Here at City Hall, we’re changing that. We want to manage the sector’s growth, not stifle it, and promote professional standards among landlords, not demonise them.

There are three parts to our strategy – setting professional standards, tackling poor properties with better enforcement and building purpose-built homes for long-term rent.

We’ve also just launched the London Rental Standard. It has 24 measures that will make a real difference to people renting or letting. We’ve asked thousands of landlords and agents to sign up to the standard which covers financial protections, better building conditions and daily management.

We know that most landlords are responsible, and most tenants are happy. However, evidence from the English Housing Survey shows that many know little of property letting laws. Indeed, it found two thirds of landlords lack formal property management experience, while 85 per cent haven’t heard of the Housing Health and Safety Rating System.

The London Rental Standard will professionalise the sector by giving landlords and agents the chance to sign up and get trained by one of seven accredited bodies. We’re also offering a package of incentives to encourage registration, with discounts on insurance and deposit schemes.

For landlords paying agents to manage their property, this is a chance to show they’re doing a professional job. The London Rental Standard will help consumers too, with a Good Landlords website being developed, while trained landlords can display a badge.

Boosting housing is an important part of growing London’s economy. As well as doubling house building and providing a record 100,000 low cost homes for Londoners, our new London Rental Standard is a huge step to making renting better in the capital.

Find out more about the London Rental Standard

Greater London Authority

Written by: The Greater London Authority. For more information about the London Rental Standard visit www.london.gov.uk 

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