Rob Hunter who runs lettings company Place Group UK, explains how the Mayor’s London Rental Standard is good for landlords, agents and tenants.
‘I’ve been working as a landlord since 1994, until last October exclusively in London. Over the years, it’s changed a lot. For a start, local authority regulation has become very burdensome and time consuming. There’s a lack of clarity about how it’s applied and how to do it properly. Tenants’ expectations have also changed – but then so have everybody’s.
I think generally most landlords try pretty hard to get it right. But some very good landlords have some very poor property without realising it. It’s all freshly painted, but bad underneath. There are some very bad landlords too. Really, it’s a very mixed bag and there are always properties that fall under the radar. That’s the biggest problem - nobody takes an interest until something goes wrong.
The London Rental Standard will give those landlords willing to put their heads above the parapet an identifiable brand. We live in a very brand conscious society. People want it. We should encourage landlords to do it, they should readily promote it.
With all the existing schemes there’s a lack of clarity. At the moment, most tenants don’t take much of an interest as they don’t know much about it. I think the success of the scheme hinges on the Mayor’s backing and his high profile. It’s the only way it’ll get the publicity it needs.
As a landlord in the scheme, I think it gives you several benefits. For me, it’s important to show my local authority and tenant clients, that you’re doing what you’re doing properly. You need to demonstrate it to people, verify it. It also gives people a form of redress if things go wrong, outside the tenant / landlord relationship.
I would recommend signing up to the London Rental Standard to all landlords. There’s no logical reason not to, it really does make good business sense. They’ll also be able to command a better tenant and probably have a better overall arrangement as they’re offering a better product. I think all landlords should become accredited. It’s a no brainer to me.’
On 28th April 2014 Endsleigh partnered with the Mayor of London's office to launch the capital's first ever rental standard. A city-wide badge of accreditation for London's landlords. Find out more about the standards here.