Sadiq Khan was definitely one of the most vocal candidates when it came to tackling the issues in London’s growing private rented sector.
Khan has already acknowledged that this sector of the housing market desperately needs attention, and he seems to emphasise his focus on offering a better deal for London’s renters.
In his manifesto, Khan pledged to support longer tenancies, work with councils to develop landlord licensing schemes, name and shame rogue landlords and create a London-wide not-for-profit letting agency for ‘good landlords and responsible tenants’.
However, it is the London Living Rent, capped at one-third of local tenants’ income, which deserves most attention.
The rent-to-income gap has grown so large in London that London Living Rent will actually require huge discounts above and beyond the existing 20% discount for ‘affordable’ homes, and many in the industry have serious doubts about the viability of this particular policy.
The capital’s private landlords are feeling the pressure as the new mayor brings renewed focus to the issues in the market.
They have already been targeted by the introduction of higher stamp duty for second homes and the reduction of buy-to-let tax benefits, and recent research shows that many landlords are planning to leave the sector altogether.
Some may be looking for reassurance that their interests are just as valuable as those of the tenants.
We speak to private landlords every day and there is definitely a feeling of uncertainty about what the future holds for the market.
Nick Marr, co-founder, TheHouseShop.com