While the country has been continually watching Chancellor George Osborne for changes to the housing market, Boris Johnson made a move to try and improve the quality of rented properties throughout London with his ‘good landlord scheme’.
The London Rental Standard was the first city wide scheme which aimed to accredit good landlords and letting agents, and was initiated last year in May. After its first year, however, it has been called a flop after less than 1 per cent of advertisements for homes to let mentioned that they were part of the scheme.
The news release for the scheme was reported to say “In time, the London Rental Standard will become and instantly recognisable feature of London’s lettings industry, helping Londoners to pick between the huge array of landlords and agents on offer.”
Unfortunately, it would seem this has not happened, with the website of the scheme stating (at time of writing) to have had only 14,452 landlords sign up.
Research by the Green Party apparently highlighted the failure of the marketing of the scheme, despite its budget of £250,000.
“Voluntary accreditation schemes [such as the London Rental Standard] only work if tenants know to look out for the badge, creating demand that landlords might respond to,” said Green London Assembly member, Darren Johnson. “Even the agents who are members of the scheme don’t publicise it, and don’t let tenants search for accredited landlords.”
However, even if Boris Johnson’s scheme hasn’t done much to give the market in London a boost, neither has Osborne’s Help to Buy schemes. Helping people on an individual basis, the schemes can help overcome the main obstacle of buying a home, the deposit, but this hasn’t helped alter the market in general, however, people are still struggling, and the rate of house building is not meeting demand.