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London mayor lays out affordable housing plans

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Private landlords in London have little reason to fear new mayor Sadiq Khan’s pre-election pledge to introduce living rents.

London mayor lays out affordable housing plansThe smallprint of the Labour mayor’s manifesto reveals that he wants to create a new form of affordable housing, with rent based on one-third of average local income, not market rates.

At first glance, this is great news for London’s 2 million tenants living in private accommodation, who the mayor says pay an average rent of £1676 per month.

Khan claims this is more expensive than staying in a four-star hotel in many European capital cities, including Paris, Rome, Berlin, Warsaw and Prague.

But his living rent plan hinges on City Hall being able to deliver up to 50,000 new homes each year in London.

Khan says he will “seek out new sources of investment and use planning powers effectively to raise the number of new and affordable homes London builds”.

But with an average of 19,571 homes per year built under Ken Livingstone and 18,364 per year under Boris Johnson, many question whether mass housebuilding can be achieved.

Christine Whitehead, a professor in housing economics at the LSE, has said that Khan’s housebuilding target would “result in an initial fall in development activity and would make many sites financially unviable”.

Responsible tenants

Another property promise made by the mayor – who received an overwhelming 1,310,143 votes – involves establishing a “London-wide not-for-profit letting agency to promote longer-term, stable tenancies for responsible tenants and good landlords across the capital”.

If put in place, this would guarantee a tenancy of up to three years, with rents that only go up in line with inflation.

Assetgrove has been working with private landlords since 1975 to give them long-term stability.

Our experience teaches us that changes in personal circumstances mean many tenants do not wish to remain in a property for longer than the standard 12-month assured shorthold tenancy agreement.

This can mean London’s landlords having to cope with void periods while their rental properties undergo cleaning and repairs between tenancies.

Assetgrove’s five-year rent guarantee scheme is the ultimate way to make running a property portfolio hassle free.

We can take the stress out of managing your property and can ensure you receive fixed monthly payments even if your property’s not rented out.

Not only that, we deal with all tenant issues directly to save you the trouble.

We also maintain the property during the term of the contract and cover all utility and energy bills.

Housing mix

Here at Assetgrove, we agree with the mayor when he says London does not have enough homes for its estimated 8.6 million population and the price of property prevents many tenants from being able to afford a home of their own.

Even if the mayor does deliver the affordable homes that London needs, it will be many years before private landlords will not be an integral component of the capital’s housing mix.

Assetgrove works tirelessly to help the mayor protect tenants’ interests by giving landlords the support they need to cope with the growing amount of legislation that now affects the private rental sector.

To learn more about all the services that Assetgrove offers landlords, contact us today.

Neil Jennings

Neil is the Operations Director at Assetgrove Lettings, London's Leading Rent Guarantee Company, providing Landlords with no voids, property maintenance, fee-free property management and stress-free service.

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