Posts with tag: west of England

West of England Councils Relaunch Rent with Confidence Scheme

Published On: July 11, 2017 at 9:39 am


Categories: Landlord News

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Councils in the west of England, including Bristol City Council, have relaunched the Rent with Confidence scheme, which aims to help tenants find good quality rental housing in the area.

Rent with Confidence is a voluntary scheme that aims to protect tenants by setting a benchmark for landlords and letting agents in the private rental sector.

West of England Councils Relaunch Rent with Confidence Scheme

West of England Councils Relaunch Rent with Confidence Scheme

The scheme will help tenants rent with confidence, knowing that their landlord or agent is approved and should meet realistic standards.

Representatives from landlord, agent and tenant groups have worked closely together to agree a standard that includes ethical lettings principles.

Other additions to the Rent with Confidence scheme include a section on tenant responsibilities and new incentives for accredited landlords.

Seven organisations have been approved, and their accredited landlords and agents will be able to use the scheme’s logo and marketing materials.

The approved organisations are:

  • The National Landlords Code of Excellence (NLCE UK)
  • South West Landlords Association
  • Bristol Association of Letting & Managing Agents
  • Bristol University Student Union Lettings
  • National Landlords Association
  • Residential Landlords Association
  • Consider Rate

The Rent with Confidence scheme is run by Bristol City Council, in conjunction with Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Councils, and has been supported by Plymouth City Council.

The Director of the NLCE UK, Sam Jackson, comments on the organisation’s involvement in the relaunch: “The NLCE is committed to raising the bar with regards to landlords’ knowledge and professionalism. Tenants are the landlords’ customers and should expect good quality, safe accommodation. We will enable landlords to provide the best service they can and keep abreast of all the laws surrounding renting property.” 

Councillor Paul Smith, Bristol City Council’s Cabinet Member for Homes and Communities, also says: “The scheme aims to encourage responsible landlords and agents to do more than the legal minimum, and is achievable for most landlords and letting agencies. The standard also recognises that tenants should meet their responsibilities and co-operate with reasonable requests from their landlord.

“We appreciate that most landlords want to do their best for their tenants, and this standard will give renters confidence that their property should meet acceptable standards. The Rent with Confidence scheme helps recognise responsible landlords and agents, and compliments the enforcement action taken by the council against criminal landlords and agents.”

The West of England Rental Standard has Launched

Four county authorities have launched a scheme for accrediting landlords and letting agents in the west of England.

The West of England Rental Standard encompasses Bristol City, North Somerset, Bath and North East Somerset, and South Gloucestershire councils.

The West of England Rental Standard has Launched

The West of England Rental Standard has Launched

The scheme officially launched on 5th January. It was created to provide a single mark of accreditation for landlords and agents in South Gloucestershire and the west of England.

Organisations that accredit landlords and agents are being encouraged to apply to be endorsed accreditation providers, if their schemes meet the standard.

The West of England Rental Standard sets out specific key criteria for rental properties and encourages landlords to do more than simply meet legal requirements.

It details a minimum standard that landlords and letting or management agents must reach and creates a kite mark, so that tenants can be sure that their property and landlord meet the standard.

The standard aims to become the single accreditation scheme for compliant landlords and agents within the region, and hopes to help tenants find good quality homes.

Councillor Ben Stokes, Adults and Housing Committee Chair at South Gloucestershire Council, comments: “South Gloucestershire has approximately 14,600 privately rented properties, and schemes such as the West of England Rental Standard will help to protect tenants by promoting good landlords and exposing the poor ones.

“We want to work with and support accrediting bodies, landlords and letting agents to provide tenants with good quality rental accommodation for our residents.”1

The rental standard is a voluntary scheme and does not replace the enforcement methods available to councils to make sure that landlords comply with legal requirements.

For an initial period of three years, Bristol City Council will administer the scheme on behalf of the four county authorities.

Organisations that operate in South Gloucestershire and the west of England are invited to complete an application form and return this with an application fee by 12th February 2016.

Successful organisations will be announced in March, alongside a publicity campaign.

More information about the standard and how to apply can be found here: