More than 115,000 rented homes across the city are now badged under the Mayor’s London Rental Standard, the capital’s first city-wide badge of accreditation to improve the experience of landlords and tenants.
Less than a year since its launch last May, the London Rental Standard is going from strength to strength with 307 letting agent firms signed up and eight accrediting bodies licensed under the scheme. It has been adopted by 10 of the biggest names in the lettings industry, including Spicerhaart (Haart and Felicity J Lord); Andrews; CBRE; Chestertons; Douglas and Gordon; Savills; Knight Frank; Leaders; Foxtons; and Stirling Ackroyd.
Londoners either letting or renting through every London branch of these firms are assured that they, and every landlord or agent displaying the London Rental Standard badge, have met the Mayor’s set of core commitments and training levels to offer tenants a better, more professional service. These include transparent fees, better property conditions, better communications between landlords and tenants, improved response times and repairs, and protected deposits.
Thirty per cent of London’s households now live in rented homes, and by the mid-2020s the number of renters is predicted to overtake the number of homeowners in the capital. In the last ten years the number of families with children renting in London has risen 10 per cent to almost a third. Yet 85 per cent of landlords are not aware of core legislation that protects renters and 61 per cent have no professional management training.
The London Rental Standard is fast becoming an important feature of London’s lettings industry, helping Londoners to pick between the huge array of landlords and agents on offer in the capital. It helps landlords and agents to understand their responsibilities to their tenants and to equip them with the knowledge they need to protect themselves from mistakes which can incur hefty costs and leave tenants disgruntled.
The standard is one of a raft of measures the Mayor has supported to improve the experience of London’s two million private rented sector tenants. This includes successfully lobbying for legal changes to make it compulsory for letting agents to join an independent consumer complaints scheme to help protect tenants and landlords, and banning retaliatory evictions. He has also created a search engine where Londoners can compare average market rents, secured significant sums from the Government to help provide greater enforcement against criminal landlords including those who rent out ‘beds in sheds’, and pioneering thousands of new high-quality, purpose-built homes to rent with large-scale schemes on public land in Elephant and Castle and the Stratford, supported by long term institutional investment. The Mayor is also helping renters who want to buy through his First Steps scheme, with more than 46,000 Londoners already supported to buy their home through shared ownership and other products.
Today, the Mayor called on all remaining letting agents and landlords to sign up to the London Rental Standard, and help to stamp out rogue agents or landlords in every corner of the city.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said:
“This enthusiastic take-up from agents across the capital is testament to the great success of our new and growing London Rental Standard scheme. With more and more of London’s workforce and young families now living in rented homes, this sector has a vital part to play in helping to meeting the capital’s housing needs. The Rental Standard is improving the experience of everyone involved with a clear code of good practice, and I encourage every agent, landlord and tenant to seek it out and sign up.”
Theresa Wallace, Head of Lettings Customer Relations at Savills, said:
“We fully support raising professional standards in the capital’s private rented sector and signed up to the Mayor’s Rental Standard at the first opportunity. As an industry, we are united in our goal to eliminate the small minority of rogue landlords and agents who neglect their responsibilities and bring the industry into disrepute. “
Stirling Ackroyd’s Lettings Director, Alexander Jones, said:
“The London Rental Standard is proving extremely positive for London’s rental sector, giving tenants a better understanding of which agents are regulated, a more informed choice at the very start of the rental process, and improving services and the reputation of the sector.”
Lori Thompson, Director of Customer Services and Compliance at Foxtons, said:
“As part of our accreditation, all our senior lettings employees have undertaken intensive training courses achieving NALS or ARLA qualifications and we encourage other lettings agents to join the London Rental Standard benefitting their customers and employees alike.”
The London Rental Standard is supported by a range of commercial partners including Endsleigh Insurance, MyDeposits the deposit protection scheme, and flat share site EasyRoommate.com. These supporters are offering discounts and incentives to landlords and agents to encourage them to sign up to the scheme and create a better rental sector.
It is also supported by all the lettings agent trade associations, ARLA, RICS, NALS and UKALA (UK Association of Lettings Agents), all of whom can provide letting agents with LRS accreditation.
David Cox, ARLA Managing Director, said:
“We are a proud supporter of the London Rental Standard (LRS). This bold initiative is designed to raise professional standards in the capital’s private rented sector by providing a consistent benchmark of accreditation for consumers. ARLA believes in maintaining the highest professional standards in the sector and therefore fully supports the aims of the LRS. We have long campaigned for regulation of the private rented sector, and it is crucial we eliminate the small minority of unscrupulous landlords and agents who neglect their responsibilities and bring our industry into disrepute. We are proud to be working with the Mayor on this first step towards a more regulated industry”.