9:37 AM, 17th February 2022, About 3 months ago 19
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan wants the amount that tenants can claim back if their home isn’t up to scratch doubled, to two years’ worth of rent, for the worst properties which pose a risk of death or serious injury. For London tenants paying the average rent of £1,425 a month this could mean a pay-out of up to £34,000 for the worst slum conditions.
The Mayor has also repeated his call to be given the power to introduce rent controls in London, a demand considered by him to be even more important for tenants struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.
There is funding for a new qualification and training for local authority housing enforcement officers. These officers will clamp down on rogue landlords and agents, support vulnerable tenants and ensure rental properties are in decent condition and meet safety standards.
The aim of the course is to train those with little or no experience in environmental health or private rental housing up to the standard needed to carry out the duties of a private rented sector enforcement officer to tackle rogue landlords.
The Mayor’s new environmental health qualification is a key part of his ‘Better Renting Programme’, which aims to build skills and capacity across the capital’s PRS enforcement teams. To date, 265 officers have been trained in courses commissioned by the GLA including tenancy sustainment, supporting tenants in domestic abuse cases, and gathering evidence for prosecutions.
Learners studying the qualification spend time both in the classroom and working in borough enforcement teams as environmental enforcement officers. They also develop tenancy sustainment skills to allow them to mediate and resolve issues between landlords and tenants and better support tenants facing evictions and potential homelessness.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “Every single Londoner deserves a secure, safe and comfortable home. Nearly a fifth of London’s private rented accommodation doesn’t meet basic standards and it is clear that more needs to be done to support tenants.
“I want to see tougher penalties for rogue operators and this action can only come from the Government. Poor housing conditions and exploitative rents have an awful impact on both the physical and mental health of tenants and these actions need to have consequences. With the cost-of-living spiralling, Londoners also need the government to give us the power to bring in rent controls which may’s election gave us a clear mandate for.
“I also want to see boroughs empowered to stand up for tenants. This new qualification will give councils across London the workforce and expertise to mediate disputes, enforce standards and crackdown on the rogues who give the many honest operators in the sector a bad name.”
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