Getting a Landlord Accreditation
Being a landlord is sometimes a thankless task, and there’s a lot that you need to know about the legislation, your responsibilities as a landlord, and other day to day running costs.
This has been recognised by local authorities up and down the country, who are encouraging private landlords to become part of local landlord accreditation schemes, which are designed to benefit the landlords as well as their tenants.
How do local Authorities Help Private Landlords?There has been a move towards councils and private landlords working more closely together, sharing information that helps landlords to manage rental properties, arranging meetings where landlords can get together and discuss the issues that affect them, and also setting up voluntary accreditation schemes that recognise and reward landlords who manage their properties well.
What is Landlord Accreditation?Accreditation is a set of standards laid down by individual authorities, which apply to the way a property is managed, or its physical condition. If you decide to join one of these schemes, you become an ‘accredited’ landlord, and will appear on the council’s accredited landlords list.
These schemes are always voluntary, and there is no obligation for you to join, but they do have benefits when it comes to being able to rent out your property. You’re identified locally as a good landlord, which distances you from reports of unscrupulous landlords. Tenants know that if they rent their home from an accredited landlord, the property will be in a good condition and the tenancy will be managed well.
There are often other incentives on offer to encourage people to join a landlord accreditation scheme. Some authorities have a specific liaison officer available to landlords, offering advice on tackling anti-social behaviour.
Some councils have a range of grants and loans on offer to accredited landlords if they need to renovate their properties to the standards set by the scheme, and some work with local suppliers to offer discounts on goods and services such as property insurance.
Some schemes even offer accreditation for tenants – they have to agree to abide by certain standards of behaviour which include respecting their accommodation, and neighbours and keeping to the terms of the contract they have with their landlord. Obviously it’s a good sign if a potential tenant is accredited too!
What Types of Accreditation are Available?It’s difficult to say as all schemes are slightly different. You should be able to find the details of your own local scheme on your relevant local council website.
Broadly though, there are two types of scheme, some accredit the person, and some accredit the property. Most schemes combine elements of both, although will include the property in the criteria – for example they will all include criteria that relate specifically to the condition of the property, but also look at the way the landlord has managed this and other properties in the past.
Who Operates Landlord Accreditation Schemes?Most landlord accreditation schemes are run by local authorities – and within the council it’s usually the housing or environmental health department that will administer the scheme. In some cases universities also operate accreditation schemes in areas where there is a large student population.
In Northern Ireland, The Northern Ireland Housing Executive runs the accreditation scheme.