The RLA is pleased to confirm that Boris Johnson is pushing forward with plans to require London landlords to be accredited which the RLA fully supports.
The ‘Boris Badge’, the nickname for the ‘London Rental Standard’ accreditation scheme, is a voluntary scheme that is designed to improve standards in London’s private rental market. The RLA is pleased with this decision as it encourages professional landlords and letting agents to continue their good service to tenants and the sector in general by pushing the bar of standard expectation upwards. This will hopefully also target ‘rogue’ (criminal) landlords who are in the minority but tarnish the reputation of many landlords with their actions. It also supports the London Landlord Accreditation Scheme, an accreditation and training resource for landlords, which the mayor’s office plan to invest £100,000 in.
The RLA’s accreditation scheme (RLAAS) complies with the requirements set out in the London Rental Standard, meaning London landlords who become accredited via RLASS will also qualify for the London Rental Standard. The key point for us with this, is that it is free to register with RLASS (exc. any training).
Accreditation is an alternative to licensing, which the RLA believe will only serve to encumber an already complicated area for many landlords who are not necessarily experts in regulatory obligation. Mandatory licensing has been identified as a last-resort and Boris acknowledges that the private rented sector (PRS) has not exhausted its capacity for self-regulation.
Adoption of the scheme comes after a consultation to which the RLA drafted a response, generally supporting proposals put forward. However, there were other areas highlighted by the RLA that could be improved to assist the PRS in London.