London

Voluntary standards scheme launched for London landlords

A man looks in a London estate agents window Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The London Rental Standard combines seven landlord accreditation schemes

A voluntary accreditation scheme aimed at improving rental standards has been launched by the Mayor of London.

The London Rental Standard badge will be awarded to letting agents and landlords who meet a set of criteria, including improved property conditions and quicker repairs and maintenance.

Boris Johnson said: "This standard aims to improve the experience of everyone."

However, the Labour Party said the scheme would make "little, if any, difference to private tenants".

Housing needs

The London Rental Standard combines seven landlord accreditation schemes under a single framework.

In order to be approved, letting agents and landlords will be required to meet a set of commitments, including:

  • transparent fees,
  • better property conditions,
  • better communication between landlords and tenants
  • improved response times for repairs and maintenance.

Mr Johnson said: "With more of London's workforce and young families living in rented homes, this growing sector is vital to meeting this capital's housing needs and must not be overlooked."

To join the scheme landlords and agents will need to attend a one-day course to learn about renting property, sign a code of practice and declare that they are a fit and proper person.

Image caption Landlords and agents will need to attend a course to learn about renting property to get London Rental Standard accreditation

However, Labour Party London Assembly member Tom Copley said bad landlords would be unlikely to sign up to the scheme.

"After over six years in office the Mayor has totally failed to help private renters in the capital," he said.

"He should have been lobbying for government legislation to create longer tenancies as standard, caps on annual rent rises and a ban on lettings agents' fees for tenants.

"Instead, he has wasted two years consulting on a voluntary standard that is not worth the papers it's written on."

Housing charity Shelter said "far more needs to be done" to protect renters.

Chief executive Campbell Robb said: "This scheme will be one step in the right direction to ensuring that all renters in the capital can find the decent home they need."

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