London Rental Standard

MQT on 2015-03-25
Session date: 
March 25, 2015
Question By: 
Tom Copley
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


How many private sector landlords are currently accredited by schemes approved by the London Rental Standard?


Answer for London Rental Standard

Answer for London Rental Standard

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Thanks, Tom.  There are currently 115,000 properties now managed under the London Rental Standard (LRS). 


Tom Copley AM:  How many landlords?


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  There were 14,139 private landlords and 300 letting agent firms by January.  We think that is obviously pretty good going.  We need to go further.  We want to sign up 100,000, as you know.  We are going to keep our foot to the floor on that.  What we will not do is what you want us to do, which is impose rent controls.  I do not think that is the way forward.


Tom Copley AM:  You are going to have to really put your foot down if you are going to reach this target.  You have, as you say, 14,139 at the moment.  Since you launched your campaign last spring, which was to promote the LRS, just 627 additional landlords have gained accreditation.  At the current rate, it would take you 103 years to reach your target and that is in 2118.  I would be embarrassed if this was my policy.  I do not know how you can sit there and say that you are going to reach your 100,000 target by next year.  Why do you think that London’s landlords seem so reluctant to sign up to your voluntary accreditation scheme?


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Actually, we are seeing an increase in people signing up.  I am grateful to you for confessing your embarrassment about your housing policy and you should be embarrassed because ‑‑


Tom Copley AM:  No.  I said I would be embarrassed if your LRS was my policy, Mr Mayor, because I have to say ‑‑


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  If I remember correctly, you are the gentleman who has called on the Labour Party to apologise for its failures.


Tom Copley AM:  How can you define 627 additional landlord signups since you started your campaign to promote this as a success?  It is not a success, is it, Mr Mayor?


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  No.  We announced just this week a huge new swathe of estate agents and others, Foxtons and others, who have signed up.  Foxtons, by the way, have a reputation in the sector, it would be fair to say, for being pretty vigorous. 


Tom Copley AM:  They do, Mr Mayor.  Foxtons charged fees to tenants of £450, which the Labour Party are pledging to abolish. 


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  As a result of the moral pressure, Foxtons have sent all their senior letting staff on a comprehensive LRS-approved training course in order to qualify.  I do not want to make excess claims - of course I do not - but this is, we think, a good way forward for private rental tenants in London.  What is crucial is that you must not ‑‑


Tom Copley AM:  You have just mentioned letting agencies.  I am going to ask you about letting agencies, Mr Mayor.


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  What you want to do is to impose rent controls and to take London back to the 1960s. 


Tom Copley AM:  I want to ask you about letting agencies, Mr Mayor, since you have raised letting agencies and you said you had 300.  The press release said 307 lettings agents signed up.  Can you tell me how many of them were accredited in 2012?


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I cannot give you that number.  No.  I am sorry.  No.


Tom Copley AM:  When you published your Housing Covenant in December 2012, it said that 1,300 agents were now accredited.  Why has that number fallen by 1,000 since 2012?


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  No.  I see what you are talking about.  No.  There was the London Landlord Accreditation Scheme (LLAS), which had accredited about 1,000 letting agents before the LRS came into being.  We then discovered that that LLAS was not accrediting those agents in compliance with the LRS.  As soon as that was discovered - and this addresses the anomaly that you are talking about - they were excluded. 


Tom Copley AM:  You have had to start again, essentially?


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  They were excluded from the total.  The data that I am giving you and that you are citing does not include those letting agents. 


Tom Copley AM:  OK.  Thank you very much, Mr Mayor.


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  If I have misrepresented that, I will be very happy to clarify later on.


Roger Evans AM (Chairman):  All right.  Can we just welcome pupils from the George Mitchell School in Leyton, who have joined us?


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Hello.  Good morning.


Roger Evans AM (Chairman):  And students from Debate Mate, who are looking for good examples of public speaking. 


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Great. 


Roger Evans AM (Chairman):  You have come to the right place.