Posts with tag: Mayor of London

Mayor of London calls for changes to benefits system to help tenants

Published On: April 23, 2020 at 8:14 am


Categories: Tenant News

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The Mayor of London has called for changes to the benefits system so that the cost of private rents for tenants adversely affected by coronavirus are covered.

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has commented: “Recent polling has indicated that just 2% of private tenants have had to stop paying rent due to the pandemic whilst 78% have not had to make any changes to their living situation. This shows that the vast majority of tenancies are continuing as normal, which we welcome.

“For those tenants who are struggling, by far the best solution is to ensure they are supported to prevent arrears building. We, therefore, welcome the Mayor’s calls to increase the Local Housing Allowance.

“In addition, we repeat our call on the Government to scrap the five week wait for the first payment of Universal Credit immediately and ensure tenants can have the housing element of the Credit paid directly to their landlord if they wish. This would provide tenants and landlords with the confidence that rents are covered and debts will not arise.”

Looking to the future, Beadle said: “Whilst the current situation is challenging for everyone, we need to avoid frightening households needlessly about the security of their homes.

“The vast majority of landlords are doing everything possible to support their tenants and sustain their tenancies at this difficult time. We will continue to ensure they have all the guidance and support they need to continue to do so both now and into the future.”

Mayor of London urges short-term agents to follow Airbnb’s lead

Published On: March 6, 2017 at 11:09 am


Categories: Property News

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The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has called for online short-term letting agents to follow the lead of Airbnb and block hosts from renting out homes in the capital for over 90 days.

Airbnb, which has around 50,000 listings in the capital said in December 2016 that it is going to stop listings in London going over 90 days, without planning permission.


This was a decision welcomed by Mr Khan, who had previously written to the Home Affairs Select Committee raising concerns over these lets in the capital. He voiced his worries that letting properties like these all year round could harm London’s much-needed housing stock.

As such, Khan welcomed Airbnb’s positive and forward-thinking introduction of the 90-day limit. Yesterday, he contacted other short-term agents in the capital asking them to follow suit.

These were:

  • Veeve
  • One Fine Stay
  • Wimdu
  • HomeAway
  • Airsorted

The Mayor remains open to Londoners being able to benefit from renting out their property for a short period, to accommodate many visitors from around the globe. In addition, he feels that the industry as a whole will benefit from ensuring customers comply with legislation and that self-regulating can offer an alternative to Government intervention.

Mayor of London urges short-term agents to follow Airbnb's lead

Mayor of London urges short-term agents to follow Airbnb’s lead


In his letter, Mr Khan said: ‘While Airbnb accounts for a substantial share of the short-term lettings market in London, there are many other operators, such as yours, who occupy the same space. I am keen to see a cross-industry response to this issue, to help local authorities enforce the law.’[1]

‘I therefore strongly encourage your company to follow Airbnb’s lead, by ensuring that customers of yours who want to let properties in London on a short-term basis for more than the 90-day annual cumulative limit are restricted from doing so through your website, unless they can prove that they have the relevant planning permission.’[1]

Sir Steve Bullock, executive member for housing at London Councils, noted: ‘London Councils welcomed the steps taken by Airbnb to ensure its activities do not have a negative impact on the capitals’ already extremely challenging housing situation.’[1]

‘Ensuring short-term rentals advertised with all providers are being used in line with planning laws is a vital step in tackling a housing crisis which impacts on all Londoners – and we welcome this further intervention by the Mayor to ask other companies to follow Airbnb’s example,’ he continued.[1]



The Top 8 Spots to Invest in London

Published On: May 14, 2016 at 8:00 am


Categories: Landlord News

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As the new Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is focusing on tackling the shortage of housing in the capital, now is a great time to get a slice of the action.

With two million private tenants currently residing in London, demand for good quality homes from good landlords is set to remain strong.

London estate agent Portico has put together a list of eight buy-to-let hotspots that should deliver both high rental yields and strong capital growth in the future.

  1. Acton

Although Crossrail – the new high frequency railway from London to the South East – isn’t set to launch until 2018, the east-west line is already forming property hotspots along its route. Portico expects property prices to have risen by at least 15-20% in Acton by the time the Elizabeth Line is complete.

Additionally, the nearby Old Oak Common is due to become a hub for Crossrail and High Speed 2. With the regeneration project likely to have a positive impact on the surrounding areas, Acton’s popularity with renters is set to surge.

  1. King’s Cross

Following recent large investment projects in the land just north of the station, King’s Cross is fast becoming a new hotspot for commercial and cultural activity.

The Bloomsbury Senior Sales Consultant at Portico, Lucy Adamson, looks at values in the area: “Property prices are starting to reflect the area’s growing popularity, and the new luxury flats in the recently completed Plimsoll Building are selling upwards of £1,400 per square foot, which is a record high for the area. This is starting to have a positive ripple effect on the surrounding areas as a whole in all directions: north towards Caledonian Road, east towards Angel, and south towards Bloomsbury.

“There are still many opportunities to invest with a view to solid capital growth during the next five to ten years, as further exciting projects are completed, including Google’s headquarters, the large Francis Crick Institute medical research centre, and various other head offices for well-known brands, such as New Look.”

She adds: “I also anticipate that the demand from professional tenants for high quality housing in the local area will sky rocket as a result of the new jobs generated. All of this will add to the existing fact that King’s Cross is in a fantastic central location with one of the best stations for access to multiple transport links across all of London, a connection to mainland Europe in only a few hours via the Eurostar, and all within walking distance of the West End.”

  1. Elephant and Castle

The Top 8 Spots to Invest in London

The Top 8 Spots to Invest in London

Traditionally not the most appealing place to live, things are now changing in Elephant and Castle. Currently going through a £3 billion redevelopment, the landscape in the area is set to be transformed. Both the Heygate council estate and outdated shopping centre will be demolished to make way for 1,200 new houses and around 2,500 new apartments and shops. The regeneration will also involve a new pedestrianised town centre, market square, an integrated public transport hub and new green spaces.

Portico’s Dulwich Sales Manager, Tony Chryseliou, expects property and rent prices to slowly rise in the area: “Elephant and Castle is definitely an up-and-coming hotspot. Several new luxury developments are being constructed as part of the large-scale regeneration project, which are attracting a younger, more affluent demographic to the area.

“It’s also on the cusp of zone 1 and has excellent transport links to the Square Mile, so it’s better to buy now while prices are relatively affordable.”

  1. Oval/Stockwell

It’s good news for Battersea – the area is getting the Tube! The Northern Line is set to be extended to Battersea, with two new stations at Nine Elms – London’s biggest regeneration zone – and Battersea Power Station by 2020. The long-term plan is to extend the Northern Line even further to Clapham Junction, which will likely push up prices in the area even further.

Luke Parle, the Battersea Sales Manager at Portico, comments: “Nine Elms and the new build market in Battersea has taken a bit of a hit recently, possibly as a result of an influx of new builds being offered to the market in one go. This is, however, having a positive outcome for pre-owned homes, specifically anything that is older than 50 years. People who can’t afford new build stock are buying up the older stock in anticipation of long-term capital growth in the area once the new build projects have been finished (circa 2020).”

Although Nine Elms has been hit recently, Oval and Stockwell have really benefitted from being close to the redevelopment zone. Transport links in both areas are great; the only thing that has previous held both spots back is the lack of amenities. However, both have seen a flood of fashionable new cafes, shops and bars open up recently.

  1. Streatham 

Homebuyers are flocking to Streatham, which is much more affordable than nearby Clapham and Balham, and has excellent transport links to London Victoria and a range of good schools.

Over the last 12 months, house prices have risen by 10%, with Portico forecasting a further 5% increase over the second half of the year.

Streatham Hill is also fast becoming the buy-to-let capital of south London, with average rental yields of 4.4%.

The Managing Director of Portico, Robert Nichols, says: “Landlords are now looking at Streatham Hill for a strong return – an area gaining the nickname the Clapham Overflow. Although the area is still cheaper than Clapham, the price divide is getting smaller and we are seeing a large number of renters move into the SW2 area because Clapham has become unaffordable for some.”

  1. Brixton

Brixton became popular as a cheaper alternative to neighbouring Clapham, but now buyers and tenants are moving here because they love it. Not only is it more affordable, but it’s also in zone 2 at the end of the Victoria Line. Brixton is one of the most gentrified spots in London, filled with modern eateries, bars and boutiques. However, locals can still enjoy the cultural treats found within its famous market. The average price of a one-bedroom home here is now around £400,000, with prices set to rise by a further 5% this year – so get in quick!

  1. Archway

While Archway is still a lot cheaper than its north London neighbours, the Camden Sales Manager at Portico, Stephanie Powell, expects prices to increase by at least 5% this year.

Last month, Transport for London (TfL) began work transforming Archway by removing the much hated one-way system in the area, and replacing it with two-way traffic lanes, improved pedestrian crossings and a new central piazza. Work is due for completion by 2017.

  1. Tottenham Hale

Despite having a bit of a rough reputation, Tottenham Hale is becoming a first time buyer hotspot. But there will always be those who cannot afford to buy and must rent instead.

It is still a fairly cheap area to buy and rent – a one-bed property would cost around £300,000 or £1,400 per month. Plus, you can get to the City of London in less than 15 minutes on the Tube and regeneration is starting to smarten up the area.

Tottenham Hale is also undergoing a transport revival, with £110m being spent on a new Tube, rail and bus station, road network improvements and public realm works, which will be completed by 2017. It may also receive a Crossrail 2 station, which would push prices up by a further 10%. Now is definitely a good time to buy!

If you do decide to become a London landlord, make sure you remember to stick to the law and avoid being put on Sadiq Khan’s new rogue landlord database!

Mayor of London Receives Support for Rent Controls

Published On: May 12, 2016 at 9:21 am


Categories: Landlord News

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Sadiq Khan, the new Mayor of London, has received support from property professionals for his campaign to introduce rent controls in the capital.

The average private rent price in London has hit a huge 62% of the typical wage, making housing unaffordable for the average tenant.

Khan is continuing to focus on the capital’s housing crisis, after his mayoral election campaign emphasised the issue that affects many Londoners.

However, Khan’s plans will require the co-operation of central Government to enforce any regulations on the private rental sector.

His measures have been criticised by Shaun Bailey, a Conservative politician elected to the London Assembly, who called them “Soviet-style rent controls”1.

Mayor of London Receives Support for Rent Controls

Mayor of London Receives Support for Rent Controls

Despite this, some property experts have spoken out in support of rent stabilisation measures.

The Head of Residential Research at JLL estate agent, Adam Challis, explains: “This is being described as rent control, but it is more properly described as rent indexing, and, set at the right level, it is completely palatable to investors. It offers a sense of relative certainty over what future rental growth is going to be.”

Richard Donnell, the Director of Research at Hometrack, believes large-scale landlords will accept a measure of control on rents – a finding reflected by a University of Cambridge study for the London Assembly last year.

These measures are often accompanied by longer tenancies, which was included in Zac Goldsmith’s – Khan’s main rival – mayoral manifesto.

However, Lucian Cook, the Director of Residential Research at Savills estate agent, claims: “Anything that involves capping rents may be a double-edged sword.”1 He insists that the fundamental problem lies in the shortage of supply of new homes.

More politically achievable is a London living rent, which Khan says would take the form of rents capped at one-third of the local average income, rather than market rents.

Challis claims this could replace existing affordable rents, which are often required within new developments under planning agreements. Part of Khan’s housing plan is to insist that 50% of all new home developments are affordable.

In the private rental sector, affordable rents can currently cost up to 80% of market rates.

Challis believes: “To implement this on new properties would be relatively easy – it’s already what we do in various forms within the affordable housing spectrum. That’s something that would probably be supported by the local population and by local authorities.”1

Julian Goddard, a partner at property advisers Daniel Watney, thinks there are more serious issues to look at: “My recommendation would be to look at the supply side and take measures to ease the viability of new schemes.”1

The Policy Manager at Generation Rent, Dan Wilson Craw, insists that rents linked to wages should be introduced across the market: “The living rent seems to be spooking a lot of landlords, but it is not big enough for them to worry about – we would like it to be far more widespread.”1

Yesterday, we reported on Khan’s plans to release a new list of rogue landlords. The database would ensure that tenants could check whether a landlord has committed any housing offences.

Do you believe that Khan’s plans will benefit all in London’s private rental sector?


Sadiq Khan’s New Database Will Expose London’s Rogue Landlords

Published On: May 11, 2016 at 9:53 am


Categories: Landlord News

Tags: ,,,

The new Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has revealed plans for a database that will expose the capital’s rogue landlords.

Sadiq Khan's New Database Will Expose London's Rogue Landlords

Sadiq Khan’s New Database Will Expose London’s Rogue Landlords

The London Landlord Watchlist will help Khan crack down on those who exploit tenants “like a ton of bricks”. The policy, aimed at the capital’s two million private tenants, would introduce a public City Hall database that enables renters to check out landlords before moving into a property. It will name and shame rogue landlords in the capital, and could include those who have repeatedly broken the law.

Offences that could put landlords on the database include unlawful eviction of tenants, failure to comply with an overcrowding notice and harassment. Recently, a landlord in Peterborough was prosecuted for harassing a tenant.

Ministers have already announced plans for a landlord register, but this would only be accessible by councils, not the public.

Housing was at the forefront of the mayoral campaign, as a host of Londoners continue to struggle to afford to rent or buy.

A recent study by housing charity Shelter found that around six in ten Londoners face daily living hazards in their rental properties. Meanwhile, one in ten has suffered health problems in the past year as a result of their landlord failing to deal with dangerous conditions.

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Research by the Labour Party also found that tenants would have to pay an average of £2,400 in letting agent fees over the next eight years unless action was taken. Khan has already revealed plans for a landlord licensing scheme and citywide not-for-profit letting agency.

He said: “Most landlords treat their tenants well, but too many renters are being deliberately exploited by rogue landlords. Enough is enough. I will come down on rogue landlords like a ton of bricks with a new London Landlord Watchlist to name and shame the worst offenders.

“We can’t stand by as thousands of renters are suffering high costs and low standards. That’s why I will promote licensing schemes to drive up standards and establish a not-for-profit lettings agency that will end rip-off fees for renters and promote longer tenancies.”1 

Remember to stick to the law and avoid being named and shamed!


Generation Rent Responds to Election of Sadiq Khan

Published On: May 9, 2016 at 8:29 am


Categories: Property News

Tags: ,,,

Generation Rent Responds to Election of Sadiq Khan

Generation Rent Responds to Election of Sadiq Khan

On Friday evening, Labour’s Sadiq Khan was elected the Mayor of London. Tenant lobby group Generation Rent has responded to the appointment, explaining what it will mean for the housing market.

With housing such a serious and widespread issue in the capital, many groups have spoken out about what the new mayor must do to help ease the chronic shortage of affordable homes.

Last week, the Director of Your Move and Reeds Rains, Adrian Gill, called on the new mayor to boost private rental supply in London. He believes that Khan must regard the private rental sector as an ally, not an enemy.

Both Khan and his main rival, Zac Goldsmith, put housing at the core of their mayoral manifestos, highlighting the importance of this continuing issue.

Khan has promised to build 80,000 new homes in London every year, 50% of which will be affordable. He plans to deliver these properties on brownfield land. Khan also hopes to form a new homes division in City Hall, set up a not-for-profit letting agency, restrict rent rises, and further invest in the London Affordable Homes programme.

The Residential Landlords Association has also recently released its own manifesto, detailing what it believes the new mayor should do for the private rental sector.

Following Khan’s appointment on Friday, Generation Rent spoke out about his responsibilities now that he is mayor.

The group’s Director, Betsy Dillner, says: “Generation Rent congratulates Sadiq Khan for winning this referendum on London’s housing crisis. The new mayor has years of underbuilding to overcome, and in the meantime, two million private renters are facing high rents and insecurity, with no way out.

“In order to improve the lives of renters, the mayor needs new powers from the Government over tenancies – something that both he and Zac Goldsmith called for. In theory, this means that all of London’s MPs, on both sides of the House, should now be clamouring for stronger rights for renters. We hope Sadiq will capitalise on this consensus.”