Boris Johnson unveils new rental standard

Boris Johnson unveils new rental standardLondon mayor Boris Johnson has launched a new rental standard designed to improve the properties of those renting in the city.

Letting Agents and landlords will have to meet a set of criteria including improved property conditions and more efficient maintenance and repairs services, in order to be accepted under the London Rental Standard.

Other commitments that landlords will have to abide by include introducing more transparent fees and better communication between landlords and tenants.

Speaking about the new guidelines, 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. This standard aims to improve the experience of everyone involved, from landlord to tenant, with a clear set of good practice rules."

However, some critics have argued that there is still room for improvement with these new measures.

For example, the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) said there is a danger that some of the worst landlords in the city may choose to ignore it.

CIH chief executive Grainia Long said: "We hope that the voluntary nature of the scheme will not undermine its impact. Much work will need to be done to ensure it is not simply ignored by the worst offenders." 

Her concerns were shared by Crisis' chief executive Leslie Morphy, who said that poor quality housing and short-term tenancies were still a problem for many tenants.

He added: "The ending of a private tenancy is now the leading cause of statutory homelessness in London. Yet we know from our own work that with responsible landlords and the right support, renting can provide a solution to homelessness. Private renting is more important than ever before. We must make sure it works for everyone."

Recently, the government launched a new scheme dubbed 'affordable rent to buy' to fund additional new-build homes that must be let at an affordable rent, which is up to 80 per cent of market rent.

It is hoped that this would make it much more affordable for consumers to afford rents in the capital.

Published 29th May, 2014

© 2014 Estates IT Limited

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