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Eight in ten tenants happy but report slates rental standards

Eight in ten tenants happy but report slates rental standards

Private renting standards in London are poor, according to a new report, despite its finding that 82% of private tenants are satisfied with their accommodation.

The Centre for London’s report says that the proportion of people renting in London has gone up from 18% to 25% in the last two years.
 
The report, called “Stressed, a review of London’s private rental sector”, says complaints against landlords and letting agents are rising and that half of rented homes fail to meet basic standards of health and safety.

It calls for the Government to do more to raise the standards of existing rented properties, but argues in favour of a carrot and stick approach rather than heavy-handed controls.

In particular, it argues that tax breaks would encourage landlords to invest more in improving their properties. It says that the UK’s tax treatment of landlords is less beneficial than elsewhere, pointing to Austria, where landlords can sell rental properties after ten years without having to pay Capital Gains Tax, while in Germany, no tax is payable if the proceeds are reinvested in real estate within four years.  

Despite its claims that rental accommodation is often poor and that there is “widespread” violation of basic housing standards, the report found that 82% of private tenants are satisfied with their accommodation, although only 49% say they are happy with their tenure and would prefer to own.

It also says that welfare reforms have put pressure on low-income tenants, particularly those who are in work and on housing benefit. The report says 38% of London landlords have had to evict tenants on Local Housing Allowance.