London Assembly members voted this afternoon to back Generation Rent's Manifesto. This is a fantastic endorsement of the work we are doing from politicians in the heart of the country's housing crisis.
Two million people - a quarter of the London population - rents from a private landlord, and the unaffordability, poor conditions and insecurity of tenure are all high on the agenda. A poll from the Association of Residential Letting Agents today said that 43% of London's renters have had reservations about their landlord or letting agent on day one of their tenancy.
Darren Johnson AM, Green Party chairman of the housing committee, proposed the motion, which was seconded by Labour's Tom Copley AM, and passed after a debate in City Hall (available on this link).
“This Assembly welcomes the 'Renters manifesto' published by Generation Rent, which would bring considerable improvements to the lives of one in four households in London living in the private rented sector.
“The Assembly reaffirms its support for a number of Generation Rent's recommendations, which the Assembly put forward in its 'Rent reform' report in June 2013, including policies to stabilise rents, introduce longer tenancies and end retaliatory evictions.
“This Assembly supports further measures proposed by Generation Rent, including:
- longer notice periods for tenants who have lived in a home for a number of years
- banning letting agent fees
- closing loopholes on deposit protection schemes
- increasing the Rent a Room tax allowance
- scaling up the Community Land Trust model to create a large, secondary housing market affordable to Londoners
This Assembly also welcomes proposals from other organisations to introduce longer tenancies as standard, with caps on annual rent increases.
This Assembly also notes with regret the Mayor’s continued involvement with international property fairs such as MIPIM. His support for rich investors to build expensive flats for rich owners and landlords, who in turn let homes on insecure contracts in a dysfunctional rental market, is not providing for the needs of ordinary Londoners.
This Assembly therefore calls on the Mayor to set out his response to the 'Renters manifesto', to consider piloting some of the recommendations in his Housing Zones, and to require its implementation in any deals made at MIPIM.”
We'll be looking forward to Boris Johnson's response.