The Liberal Democrat’s London Mayoral candidate Caroline Pidgeon in her election manifesto is pledging longer tenancies for London’s army of tenants.
On a visit to a building site being developed by affordable housing developer “Pocket Living”, Ms Pidgeon announced a whole raft of policies aimed at helping London tenants, estimated to be one quarter of all Londoners now renting privately. She said she would encourage landlords to offer longer tenancies if elected in May.
This follows the legacy Coalition Government’s LibDem inspired law to prevent so called “retaliatory evictions”, effective from 1st October last year, which will prevent landlords evicting a tenant who complains about dilapidations in the property. By promoting the use of longer tenancies, which could last up to 5 years instead of the current 6 months, Pidgeon claims this would provide London’s tenants with both stability and protection from rent hikes.
Making housing a major issue in her campaign, Ms Pidgeon promises:
- to build 200,000 new homes to increase supply and “push down” rents.
- to give tenants first refusal on buying their home should the landlord decide to sell it during their tenancy.
- a mandatory licensing scheme for landlords, the scrapping of lettings fees for tenants and more support for Boroughs to enforce housing standards.
- a landlord registration scheme for London.
- prosecuting more landlords for failing to meet minimum housing standards.
Ms Pidgeon has said:
“I want to see all landlords with property in London registered. Landlords who fall short of decent standards mean renters living in sometimes appalling conditions, with severe health problems and fuel poverty prevalent among this group. I’m not prepared to see this continue.
“By making sure rogue landlords are prosecuted, enforcing housing standards and promoting longer tenancies of 3 to 5 years to give tenants security we can make an real impact on improving the lives of people who choose to rent.”
Meanwhile a London letting agent has expressed concern about a canvassing e-mail sent out by the Liberal Democrat candidate. One e-mail sent out to voters by Caroline Pidgeon last week claimed that London tenants pay nearly “3/4 of their take-home on rent”.
Claire Empson, managing director of Daisy lets & sales based in Dulwich, South London said she was “shocked” by the exaggeration of the claim.
Apparently the promotional e-mail signed off with a plea for Londoners to get in touch with experiences they’ve had at the hands of landlords.
It read: “P.S. To make my campaign stronger, I want to hear from you about your experience with landlords or those of your family and friends – please let me know by replying to this email.”
LibDems still pushing for long tenancies – https://t.co/4VHAUvc8Ky
— LandlordZONE (@LandlordZONE) March 18, 2016