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 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: www.westofenglandrentalstandard.co.uk