Voluntary scheme for London landlords 'failing renters'

man looks in an estate agents window Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption In May 14,350 of private sector landlords had signed up to the London Rental Standard so far

A voluntary scheme aimed at improving rental standards has been criticised after only 12% of London landlords signed up in a year.

City Hall said as of May 2015, 14,350 of private sector landlords had signed up to the London Rental Standard.

Labour said the scheme was "failing renters" and the mayor's pledge to sign up 100,000 landlords by May 2016 would take decades.

But, the deputy mayor of housing said the scheme had been a "huge success".

The standard, launched last May, offers letting agents and landlords a badge if they meet a set of criteria, including improved property conditions and quicker repairs and maintenance.

It combines seven separate accreditation schemes under a single framework.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The London Rental Standard combines seven landlord accreditation schemes under a single framework

About 331 letting agents managing an estimated 121,000 properties have signed up, the mayor's office said.

Richard Blakeway, deputy mayor for housing, said: "Most landlords own just one property, whereas signing up a single branch of a letting agency reaches an estimated 200 homes.

"This is a huge success in one year and we look forward to working with thousands more landlords and agents to help get a better deal for renters as this scheme grows."

But, London Assembly's Labour group claims of those landlords counted as members, 13,512 were already signed up to various other accreditation schemes, meaning there were fewer than 1,000 new joiners.

Member Tom Copley said: "We need real change in the private rented sector. Londoners need the peace of mind and security of longer tenancy agreements, caps on rent increases and an end to no fault evictions.

"Instead, Boris Johnson's soft touch and self-regulatory approach is leaving private renters with little protection from bad landlords."

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