London Rental Standard to be scrapped

Boris Johnson’s London Rental Standard to close down

The LRS, a voluntary scheme set up by the former Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, in 2014, has been dropped by the new Mayor, Sadiq Khan.

The scheme was aimed at accrediting all residential landlords in London and improving property standards within the capital.

Over 14,000 landlords had signed up, in the first year, to the LRS code of practice, which included; written tenancy agreements, protected deposits, reasonable notice for access, minimum times for emergency and urgent repairs, and property conditions that comply with legal requirements.  However, the former Mayor’s vision of having 100,000 of London’s 300,000 landlords to be accredited by the scheme within the next year was not achieved, primarily due to lack of promotion.

The scheme had created a voluntary set of minimum standards that were expected of landlords, letting agents and managing agents operating in the capital’s private rental sector.

The LRS had hoped to provide training and qualification schemes, appraise rental properties, and raise professional standards in the industry by providing a consistent standard of accreditation to consumers.

Sadiq Khan has however announced a new proposal in place of the LRS.  The new Mayor plans to introduce a database of rogue landlords and agents.

In a letter to David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark, the Mayor said: “Although many letting agents became accredited to the LRS, these agents were predominantly already affiliated to professional bodies, suggestion the scheme had minimal impact in raising standards amongst the worst letting agents and landlords.  As a result the current administration feels that there would be limited value in continuing to dedicate scarce GLA resources to this project”.

ARLA responded saying: “While ARLA Propertymark members signed up and complied with the scheme in vast numbers, ultimately lack of awareness about the scheme among residents in London, along with its voluntary nature limited its ability to provide regulatory oversight to the private rented sector.

“Propertymark continues to campaign for mandatory regulation of the lettings industry combined with appropriately resourced enforcement in order to tackle rogue landlords and letting agents and poor housing standards”.

The Greater London Authority have removed the LRS website, and the Mayor has asked all members of the scheme to remove any reference to the LRS  and destroy any materials bearing the LRS logo by 26 July 2017.

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