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London Rental Standard to close

Wednesday 10 May 2017

The London Rental Standard (LRS), a voluntary scheme introduced by the then Mayor of London, Boris Johnson back in 2014, is set to close.

The move comes as current mayor of London, Sadiq Khan announces a new proposal to introduce a database of rogue agents and landlords.

The London Rental Standard, a voluntary set of minimum guidelines, was designed to raise the quality of housing in the capital’s private rented sector by providing a consistent benchmark of accreditation for consumers. However, in a letter to ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive David Cox, the Mayor of London announced that the scheme is to be scrapped, saying:

“Although many letting agents became accredited to the LRS, these agents were predominantly already affiliated to professional bodies, suggesting 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.”

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 LRS website has been taken down by the Greater London Authority and the Mayor has ordered that members of the scheme remove reference to LRS and destroy all materials bearing the LRS badge by 26 July 2017, this includes websites, stationery and promotional materials.