One of the Labour party’s London Assembly members has criticised Boris Johnson’s London Rental Standard (LRS), saying it is ‘falling private renters’ in his district.
Assembly Member for City and East London, John Biggs, has criticised the scheme’s system of ‘voluntary self-regulation’.
The scheme celebrated its year anniversary on May 28 and City Hall announced that 14,350 landlords had signed up; some way off the Mayor’s target for 100,000 by May 2016.
The scheme has been considered more of a success among the letting agent community, however, with over 300 of the capital’s firms signed up so far.
Lucy Morton, director and head of agency at W.A. Ellis, says that her firm fully supports the initiative, despite differing opinions on whether it has been successful or not.
They Mayor’s Office states that the LRS was created to ‘help Londoners rent with confidence’.
Its website states that tenants using an accredited landlord or letting agent can be sure that it means they have chosen a firm committed to providing a good service and meeting all their legal obligations.
To gain accreditation, agents and landlords must attend a one-day course to learn, sign a code of practice and declare they are a fit and proper person.
Those that subsequently meet the criteria of the scheme are given an accreditation badge, similar to those provided by redress schemes and client money protection firms.
Labour argues that fewer than 1,000 landlords have consciously signed up for the scheme, as over 13,500 were already signed up to accreditation schemes that fall under the LRS.
The scheme has been endorsed by ARLA, RICS, NALS and UKALA, combining seven separate accreditation schemes under a single framework.
John Biggs concludes his statement by saying that the private rental sector needs ‘real change’.
“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.”