Sadiq Khan wants Rent Repayments Orders doubled to a maximum of two years

Sadiq Khan wants Rent Repayments Orders doubled to a maximum of two years

9:37 AM, 17th February 2022, About 4 months ago 19

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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.”



Comments

Mike

11:11 AM, 17th February 2022, About 4 months ago

How about if we urge our Government to take action against any rogue Mayor who offers its commuters with overcrowded trains with substandard carriages, no air conditioning during summer months, with fares shooting through the roof and fares just keep going up and up and up.

How about bringing in some Fare Control whilst people are struggling with the cost of living crises.

We also like to urge the Government to allow commuters to claim back up to two years fares when substandard and appalling service is offered with fares so hiked up, stations in appalling condition and a risk to health, with packed trains to the brink, is a major risk to the health of the commuters and their well being.

It is about time Mayor sorted out his home first before he tells landlords how to offer rental accommodation and what rents to charge, we do not run trains we offer properties to rent and rents depend on the location of the property and its decor level and so you get what you pay for.

Landlords can convert substandard properties to 5 star but can tenants then afford the rents for higher standards?

Luke P

11:27 AM, 17th February 2022, About 4 months ago

Grenfell, anyone? Private sector??...Oh wait...!

NewYorkie View Profile

11:42 AM, 17th February 2022, About 4 months ago

Would this apply to both private and social housing?

Luke P

11:43 AM, 17th February 2022, About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by NewYorkie at 17/02/2022 - 11:42
It (often) requires the local authority's assistance to gain a RRO, so I very very much doubt they would, even if it were possible, assist against themselves/third-party partners...

david porter

12:20 PM, 17th February 2022, About 4 months ago

OUR PROPERTIES WILL ALL MEASURE UP
What do you think the new rents will be in London?
2 bed flat
nothing under 3k pcm!
Happy days

Helen

12:43 PM, 17th February 2022, About 4 months ago

How about sorting out some of the appalling social and council housing first? These should be the easiest to regulate. Oh, wait, this would mean local authorities spending money to upgrade their properties to a decent standard. Why not just let private landlords pay because we are all super rich aren't we?

Judith Wordsworth

14:14 PM, 17th February 2022, About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by NewYorkie at 17/02/2022 - 11:42
Of course not lol. Social housing doesn’t even need an EICR.

Rod

15:10 PM, 17th February 2022, About 4 months ago

It must be amazing in the Mayor's cuckoo land.
I'm sure those voters who re-elected him did so more due to the paucity of any candidates they felt would be up to the job, with most voters preoccupied with lockdown issues (apart from Boris, who was too busy partying).
It is unclear on what basis the Mayor makes the comment on the PRS being worse than the social sector, given that the Government's introduction notes on the Homes (Fitness for Habitation) Act 2019 state "The aim of the Act is to help drive up standards in rented homes in both the social and private sectors and provide an alternative means for tenants to seek redress from their landlord if their rented property presents a risk of harm to the health and safety of the occupiers. It does this by empowering tenants to hold their landlord, including registered providers such as housing associations, to account without having to rely on their local authority to do so."
This was the first time that tenants could take action against social providers - something they had always been able to do with PRS landlords.
Numerous studies have shown that rent controls are f limited use and often end up distorting the market - think New York. Not only that, many of the regulated schemes specify an annual increase, which would actually result in a higher average level of rent increases than the PRS have historically implemented.
iHowz and other landlord associations have always supported local authorities in their efforts to drive out those who fail to meet the required standards, often asking why with such high fees for licencing, more action is not being taken.
It will be interesting to see if these additional resources will result in any landlords or agents being added to the rogue registers, which have barely been used since they were introduced under the Deregulation Act.

Timely coordinated action by local authorities and support for tenants who are threatened by their landlords would reduce the need for rent repayment orders, whether they are extended to two years or not.

NewYorkie View Profile

15:29 PM, 17th February 2022, About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by at 17/02/2022 - 15:10
Excellent summary.

Khan is Labour. London is Labour. Albeit, there's a chasm between Starmer's North London Labour liberal elites in £million+ houses, and the average Labour voter and renter in Brixton.

Dylan Morris

11:42 AM, 18th February 2022, About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Judith Wordsworth at 17/02/2022 - 14:14
And they’ll not need a minimum EPC C rating.

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