Stressed: A Review of London’s Private Rental Sector

This report highlights the positive contribution that the private rental sector makes to London's economy, but argues that we urgently need to raise the standard of existing homes for rent, through enforcement and incentives.

The number of people renting privately in London has grown dramatically over the last few years. The capital’s private rental sector serves many of these very well. But this authoritative review – the first independent review of London’s private rental sector in years – shows that the sector faces enormous pressures.

Rents have risen significantly as demand has grown faster than supply. At the same time complaints about landlords and letting agencies have been on the rise, and nearly half of rented homes fail to meet basic standards of health and safety.

Stressed: A Review of London’s Private Rental Sector argues that while we badly need to increase the supply of new homes of all tenures in the capital, we also need to do more to raise the standard of existing homes for rent.

Key Recommendations 

  1. We recommend that more resources should be directed to campaigns promoting awareness of what tenants can expect from landlords and vice versa.
  2. With widespread violation of basic housing standards, and local enforcement teams facing cuts, we recommend a thorough strategic review of enforcement, either at a national or a pan-London level.
  3. Currently there is very little incentive for landlords to invest in improving their property. We recommend that the government look at successful models adopted abroad, and consider how similar incentives could introduced in the UK.



This publication was generously supported by