London Mayor hits out at ‘watered down’ rental reforms: Khan says Government has ‘bottled it’

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has accused the Government of ‘bottling it’ on rental reforms, saying they do not go far enough.

He claimed that ministers had significantly watered down plans to cap deposits for tenants.

In the Queen’s Speech earlier this year, the Government said it would cap deposits at one month’s rent.

Yesterday, the cap was proposed at six weeks’ rent.

However Khan said deposits should be capped at  three weeks. He also said that letting agents should face much larger penalties than proposed.

Khan said: “This government once again has proved it is all talk and no action when it comes to making it more affordable for those struggling to rent or buy a home.

“Ministers have bottled it on their commitment to reduce up-front deposits, which we know hit thousands of low-income Londoners the hardest.

“While I welcome the fact lettings agent fees paid by tenants look set to be finally banned – something I and others have called for over many years – the caps on deposits and holding deposits are almost meaningless and will do nothing to make renting more affordable for Londoners.

“Instead the Government should cap deposits at three weeks’ rent as I argued, raise the penalty for charging illegal fees to £30,000 or a criminal prosecution, and give local authorities extra funding to enforce these new penalties.”




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  1. Votta583

    I take it by those comments that Mr Khan has never been a landlord that has been unfortunate enough to have a bad tenant?

    3 weeks rent? We’ll that may just above cover carpets!

    1. ken12

      He is right.

      I am a Landlord and a tenant at the same time. So I am both world. The truth is Landlords and most especially letting agents are extremely greedy.

      These tenants pays your mortgage for you. The least you could do as a Landlord is to be reasonable when they leave, but letting agents always finds every oppotunirity to ensure they rip off these tenants off their deposits plus the interest. That is pure injustice.

      When let your property out, dont expect it to the be the same as it was. You should budget atleast £500 maintainance cost after an end of anual tenancy.



      1. JWVW

        ken12 – what a daft posting. Concentrate more on your grammmer adn speling!

      2. jeremy1960

        Ken12, what on earth on are you on about?
        What has the landlord’s financial circumstances got to do with the tenant? 
        Would you allow someone into a property that you own and allow them to trash it and then pat them on the back as they leave? I don’t think so.
        As a landlord, it is your decision whether money should be deducted from the tenant’s deposit not the agents, and ultimately only then when the tenant has agreed to it! If the tenant doesn’t agree, then there is a simple mechanism in place for them to appeal and provide evidence as to why the money should not go to the landlord.
        Landlords and agents provide a service, if government keep bashing away then either the landlords will withdraw meaning a housing shortage worse than the one we have, or service levels to tenants will fall along with affordibility.

      3. Maxwell73

        Ken12, I have to admit you’re right. Don’t mind the folks here who ridiculed your comment – they are very likely the type of agents you are referring to.

        I also am a landlord, an agent, and have been a tenant for many years in the not-too-distant past, so understand the importance of striking the right balance, but unfortunately most agents are not interested in this. As an example, when the tenant fees ban was announced, many agents cried out saying that a cap would be the fair thing to do, but if they thought a cap of, say, £100, would be fair, why didn’t they practice that even if it wasn’t enforced? Because of, as you pointed out, greed.

        Let’s face it, we’ve brought a lot of this antagonism upon ourselves.

  2. industryview17

    Why is that politicians seem incapable of looking at any subject with a balanced view and not only what they think will win them votes. Clearly Mr Khan has no understanding why letting agents and their landlords ask for 6 weeks deposit in the first place.

    Well Mr Khan – not all tenants are as completely honourable as you make out – shock horror. Therefore the reason landlords want more than the last months rent as a deposit is to avoid the tenant just not paying for the last months rent and the landlord having to use a deposit to cover rent and not any damage they may have caused. Experience tells us that all parties are more likely to perform correctly if they have a little skin in the game.

    Something maybe some politicians should learn themselves.

    1. Will

      Politicians don’t think – they are lead by their perception of what wins them votes.

  3. jeremy1960

    People who live in glass houses springs to mind!  Under khan knife crime, gun crime, moped muggings have all increased, numbers of houses built have come nowhere near the numbers he spouted, public transport has worsened blah blah blah yet he wants to penalise private landlords and hard working agents!  The guy’s a complete waste of air and London is counting the days I’m sure when this odious little man crawls back under a stone!


  4. Will

    One of my tenants owes 3 months rent and has been served with S8 & S21 notices to evict him, which will take months.  Perhaps our wonderful Mayor can offer all us poor old landlords no questions asked rent guarantee payments on the day the arrears start free of charge or is he a supporter of ROGUE TENANTS.  Think we know the answer!

    Maybe our profession is too nice  we should be publicising the term ROGUE TENANTS when tenants do not comply with their duties.  After all it is a two sided coin and the Government have over-used the term very emotive term “rogue landlords”.

  5. Stokeagent51

    What Mr Khan and the government don’t realise, is that England does not stop at the M25.  6 weeks deposit in London is about £6000 and more.  6 weeks deposit for the majority of the country is between £500 and £1000.  The main problem they cannot understand is that replacement items cost the same across the country e.g. a sofa, carpets, beds, etc.  Basically a London deposit will cover everything with change and the rest of the country will have to fund the rest.  The solution is a minimum of £1000 up to 6 weeks deposit, this way landlords and tenants are treated fairly with a balanced approach.

  6. Bless You

    I think they shoudl pay nothing but have insurance. Then when unscrupolus landlords want £1000 to replace their ‘brand new’ carpet 4 years later they can talk to a professional,,not an agent caught in the middle of greed from a landlord or lies from a tenant.

    very messy business lettings..if you care,

  7. markpne

    What do I do now sometimes I charge 2 months rent deposit to high risk tenants over the years every one got full deposit back now I will have to turn high risk tenants away they can go to Mr Khan to house them

  8. Votta583


    That’s a very generalised statement from you. In eight years I’ve never ripped off a landlord or tenant so that waters down your theory immediately.

    Beauty of the tenancy deposit scheme means that you can arbitrate a deposit and if they feel that a tenant hasn’t looked after the property then they decide. No I feel this is the fairest way it’s the landlords that go privately and don’t use an agent that rip off the tenants more so than letting agents. One could say that’s a generalised comment however I hear it weekend and week out and I do the job, front line week in week out.


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