Assembly welcomes 'Renters manifesto'

10 September 2014

The London Assembly today called on the Mayor to respond to the 'Renters manifesto', a new report by Generation Rent that calls for reform of the private rental market.[2] The Assembly also urged the Mayor to consider piloting some of the report recommendations in his Housing Zones. The Assembly also welcomed the 'Renters manifesto' report published by Generation Rent, which would bring considerable improvements to the lives of one in four households living in London’s private rented sector. Darren Johnson AM, who proposed the motion said: “The Mayor has to start listening to millions of private tenants who want longer, more secure tenancy agreements with rent controls and an end to rip-off letting agent fees. He should put Londoner’s interests first, instead of doing deals for rich investors and property developers.” Tom Copley AM, who seconded the motion said: “Policies such as these have the potential to genuinely tilt the market in favour of tenants’ needs and while the Mayor has agreed with me that it is excessive for agents to charge exorbitant ‘administration fees’ just to sign standard contracts, he has absolutely no interest in doing anything to challenge it.” The full text of the motion is: This Assembly welcomes the 'Renters manifesto' published by Generation Rent, which would bring considerable improvements to the lives of one in four households in London living in the private rented sector. The Assembly reaffirms its support for a number of Generation Rent's recommendations, which the Assembly put forward in its 'Rent reform' report in June 2013, including policies to stabilise rents, introduce longer tenancies and end retaliatory evictions. This Assembly supports further measures proposed by Generation Rent, including: • longer notice periods for tenants who have lived in a home for a number of years • banning letting agent fees • closing loopholes on deposit protection schemes • increasing the Rent a Room tax allowance • scaling up the Community Land Trust model to create a large, secondary housing market affordable to Londoners This Assembly also welcomes proposals from other organisations to introduce longer tenancies as standard, with caps on annual rent increases. This Assembly also notes with regret the Mayor’s continued involvement with international property fairs such as MIPIM. His support for rich investors to build expensive flats for rich owners and landlords, who in turn let homes on insecure contracts in a dysfunctional rental market, is not providing for the needs of ordinary Londoners. This Assembly therefore calls on the Mayor to set out his response to the 'Renters manifesto', to consider piloting some of the recommendations in his Housing Zones, and to require its implementation in any deals made at MIPIM. Notes to editors:

1. The motion was agreed 12 votes for to 4 against at a meeting of the full Assembly today. Watch the webcast.

2. 'Renters manifesto', published by Generation Rent, an advocacy group for private tenants who live in the private rental market in London.

3. Darren Johnson AM who proposed the motion is available for interviews. Please see contact details below.

4. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

For more details, please contact Lisa Lam in the Assembly Media Office on 020 7983 4067. For out-of-hours media enquiries please call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the Assembly duty press officer. Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit, Greater London Authority, on 020 7983 4100.