B&NES Council, together with a number of other local authorities across the West of England, has relaunched a scheme aimed at helping tenants find good quality rented accommodation.
‘Rent with Confidence’ is a voluntary scheme that aims to protect tenants by setting out a benchmark for landlords and letting agents in the private rented sector.
Accredited members agree to act responsibly and meet realistic standards enabling tenants to rent with confidence.
The scheme is run by Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol City, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Councils and is also supported by Plymouth City Council.
Following a growth in the number or organisations applying to join the scheme, the benchmark standards have recently been revised by representatives from landlord, agent and tenant groups.
The scheme now incorporates ethical letting principles and new incentives for accredited landlords together with a new section on tenant responsibilities.
Councillor Bob Goodman (Conservative, Combe Down) Cabinet Member for Homes and Planning, said: “I am delighted and encouraged that more organisations are applying to join the Rent with Confidence scheme which recognises good practice in the private rented sector.
“The scheme demonstrates the willingness of the Council and landlord organisations to work together positively to raise standards across this fast growing sector.
“Tenants should be able to rent with confidence and we hope this scheme will result in poor landlords and agents being pushed out of the market.”
Landlords and agents cannot join the scheme directly and must be members of an approved accreditation provider.
Seven organisations have so far been approved for membership of ‘Rent with Confidence’ and their accredited agents and landlords will be able to use the scheme logo and marketing material.
Other organisations can now apply to be accredited.
The approved organisations are:
- Bristol Association of Letting and Managing Agents (BALMA)
- Bristol University Student Union Lettings
- Consider Rate Limited
- National Landlord Association (NLA)
- National Landlords Code of Excellence (NLCE)
- Residential Landlords Association
- Landlord Accreditation South West
Organisations which accredit landlords and agents are expected to ensure their members meet and continue to meet the organisation’s membership requirements and have a procedure to deal with tenant complaints.
‘Rent with Confidence’ is a voluntary scheme, and does not replace the enforcement tools available to the Council to make landlords comply with minimum standards.
For more details visit: www.westofenglandrentalstandard.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org.