A new accreditation scheme for London's thousands of landlords has been officially launched by the city's mayor Boris Johnson.

Over the past couple of years, soaring demand for rental accommodation right across the capital has seen landlords achieve substantial returns on their bricks and mortar investments.

At the same time, however, hundreds, if not thousands, of rogue landlords have entered the rental sector, keen to take advantage of students and young professionals unable to get a foot on the property ladder.

Now, in a bid to protect tenants from these rogue landlords, a new 'kitemark' accreditation scheme has been launched, London's Evening Standard reports.

From the start of next year, letting agents' windows will be able to display the symbol if all the landlords they represent are adhering to strict quality control rules and regulations, while private landlords will also be able to incorporate the logo into contracts and other paperwork.

Launching the scheme, Mr Johnson outlined his confidence that all of the city's reputable landlords will be fully signed-up by the end of 2016, with landlords' representatives similarly welcoming the initiative.

As Richard Lambert, chief executive of the National Landlords Association, notes, building on existing accreditation schemes is the most effective means of keeping standards high across the sector and protecting vulnerable tenants from landlords who place profits above safety and comfort.

"Accreditation gives tenants peace of mind in a housing market which can seem daunting, by providing the assurance that their landlord and agent knows what they are doing. Crucially, this is backed up by a robust complaints process," he said.

The launch of the scheme comes just days after LSE Property Services reported that its research has found that four in ten UK landlords plan on putting their rents up next year, with just one per cent of those polled by the company stating that they are likely to drop their rents in the New Year.