The plight of over two million tenants in private rented accommodation has been one of the main focus points of London's housing boom, with costs of renting in the capital spiralling out of control. The Labour party announced proposals to reform the rental market back in May, aiming to cap rent rises, end no-fault evictions and abolish letting agent fees. The motion was defeated by 276 votes to 226, with 32 London MPs voting in favour.
While the government has previously said it backs voluntary long term tenancies, this basically amounts to being seen to be in favour while not actually doing anything tangible. In this vein, communities minister Nick Boles said the government would be publishing a Model Tenancy Agreement to address problems in private renting, but Alex Hilton, director of tenants' rights campaign group Generation Rent, says it's not enough:
"Giving people the right to a longer tenancy still allows them flexibility if they need to move.
“We welcome the support the majority of London’s MPs gave private renters yesterday, but there are still too many MPs who just don’t grasp the importance of a secure home to all of their constituents."
It's not the first time that the government has missed an opportunity to impose some controls on the private rental market — the recently-launched London Rental Standard (LRS) remains voluntary, thus allowing bad landlords to carry on as before.
Photo by oatsy40 in the Londonist Flickr pool.