Rent Reform: Making London's Private Rented Sector Fit for Purpose

Date published: 
09 June 2013

Rent Reform: Making the Private Rented Sector Fit for Purpose – a new report from the London Assembly Housing and Regeneration Committee – has called for a package of tough reforms to help banish rogue landlords from the capital’s rental market. Measures set out in the report include stabilising rents, enforcing landlord registration, higher penalties for breaching regulations and issuing longer tenancies.

The report also recommends measures to benefit landlords, including the ability to access to low-cost loans to improve rental properties. One in four Londoners now rents privately and there have been significant rent rises in the capital. Median rents in London rose last year by 9 per cent to £1,196 per month.. The Committee is calling for a package of measures to reform renting, which include:

Rent stabilisation: the Mayor should bring forward an effective mechanism to stabilise rents that are becoming increasingly unaffordable even for Londoners on average wages.

Landlord registration: landlords must have to register in order to operate in London.

Higher penalties: penalties for landlords breaching regulations must be reviewed, including the size of penalties and making the process of issuing penalties simpler.

Longer tenancies: homeless households placed in the private rented sector should have at least 24-month tenancies – and longer for families with children – instead of the current 6-month minimum.

Improving housing: the Mayor should look into setting up a Decent Homes Fund for the private rented sector. This will allow landlords to access low-cost loans to improve the quality of their property.