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Mayor’s rental standard has “flopped”, says critic

A member of Labour’s London Assembly has warned that “Boris Johnson’s system of voluntary self-regulation is failing private renters in Tower Hamlets”.

When the scheme was launched last year, London Mayor Boris Johnson said he would have 100,000 landlords signed up by May 2015. But London Assembly Member John Biggs, Labour’s candidate for the mayoral election in Tower Hamlets, says just 14,350 of London’s 300,000 private landlords have signed up which means Johnson is only 14% of the way there.

The London Rental Standard (LRS), which was launched on 28 May 2014, sets minimum standards for landlords and amalgamated the various voluntary landlord accreditation schemes in the capital.

When the LRS was launched the mayor reported that there were 13,512 landlords already signed up to the various accreditation schemes. Since then, according to the latest available City Hall figures, only 838 additional landlords have signed up despite an intensive publicity campaign.

“Boris Johnson’s abysmal record on housing is epitomised by the fact that with less than a year to go he has signed up just 14% of the 100,000 landlords he promised by May 2016. This is failing private renters in Tower Hamlets,” said Biggs, “We need real change in the private rented sector. Residents in Tower Hamlets 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 system of voluntary self-regulation is leaving private renters with little protection from bad landlords.”

  • Kenny Sahota

    A better deal is definitely needed for London tenants and I do believe that this scheme was a step in the right direction, after all it did still manage to ensure that over 120,000 home in the capital were covered by the London Rental Standards, giving peace of mind to landlords.

    Yes this isn't enough, and yes it does appear that they have only initially focused their attention on attracting letting agents to the scheme, instead of individual landlords, but this scheme shouldn't merely be dismissed as a flop.

  • Felicity Blair

    Changes definitely need to be made to ensure that tenants feel protected! Signing up less than 14% of the landlords predicted is shocking. I wonder how many landlords are actually aware that this scheme exists?

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    It is clear that there is no incentive or advantage to Landlords to sign up for this. Also landlords are difficult to contact unless they are members of a landlord association such as the SLA or RLA. Only property investors use agents, landlords manage their own properties and usually want higher standards.

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