Blog: How can Boris redesign London’s renting?

Blog: How can Boris redesign London’s renting?

If you could ask the Mayor to change one thing about renting in London, what would it be? Adam Terry’s got a few ideas.

A guarantee that any repairs needed would be done straight away? A commitment from your landlord to give you months of warning before any rent rise?

Or maybe you’d go further? The option of five-year contracts so that families can plan for the future in a home they can make their own? The ability to find out exactly what a letting agent was going to charge you – and why – before you signed the contract?

The truth is there’s a lot about renting we’d probably all change, from the tiny niggles that irritate you to the huge worries that keep you up at night.

Which is why at Shelter we think that the Mayor’s new London Rental Standard is a great opportunity to redesign London’s renting for years to come. And it couldn’t have come soon enough.

More than a quarter of Londoners now rent from a private landlord. With millions priced out of home ownership, renting has become the ‘new normal’ for a generation of London’s families. And the numbers are only set to keep going up.

But private renting is the worst of all worlds: it’s expensive, unstable, and plagued by poor conditions:

  • It costs 30% more to rent than to pay a mortgage in London. Many families are trapped in rented homes because of the high cost of deposits for mortgages.
  • Satisfaction is lower and accommodation more likely to be of a poor standard in the private rented sector than other sectors.

There’s an urgent need to redesign renting in the capital. We all deserve a better deal when it comes to finding a place to call home.

So what is the London Rental Standard? Well, it is a voluntary accreditation scheme that aims to improve standards and identify professional landlords and letting agents. Boris Johnson has committed to signing up 100,000 landlords to the London Rental Standard by 2016 – that’s an estimated one in three of the capital’s landlords.

A scheme of this size has the potential to transform private renting in London – but only if it genuinely works for renters too. We all know renting could be better. We just need to tell Boris how.

If you want to get involved and tell Boris how you’d like him to redesign London’s renting, take our two-minute survey and we’ll send him your views.


Journalists: Contact our press office on 0207 505 2162 (out of hours: 07850 901 142).