New accreditation standard for London lettings hailed a success

Taylor Scott International News

More than 115,000 rented homes across London are now badged under the Mayor's Rental Standard accreditation system launched last year to improve the experience of landlords and tenants. Less than a year since its launch in May 2014, 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, 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. Some 30% of London's households now live in rented homes, and by the middle of the 2020s the number of renters is predicted to overtake the number of home owners in the capital. In the last 10 years the number of families with children renting in London has risen 10% to almost a third yet 85% of landlords are not aware of core legislation that protects renters and 61% 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 Boris Johnson 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. The Mayor is now calling 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… Continue reading →

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