What is a landlord accreditation scheme?
Landlord accreditation schemes are voluntary arrangements. Landlords agree to meet a set of minimum benchmark standards relating to the condition of their private rental housing, property management, and the relationship between landlord and renter.
There are many different accreditation schemes. These are generally run by a local authority in partnership with a college/university or various professional landlord associations.
These schemes were designed to raise confidence in the PRS by ensuring that landlords are professionally trained and committed to specific codes of practice. Many of the issues that arise during a tenancy occur from a lack of awareness of the highly complex, obscure, and constantly evolving legal framework governing the PRS.
Accreditation schemes help landlords avoid common pitfalls by providing comprehensive training on private housing regulation and continuing professional development to ensure you stay up to date with any changes.
Generally speaking, accreditation will be assessed and awarded based on some combination of the following:
Condition of portfolio
A scheme representative might attend your rental property (or a sample of your portfolio if you own multiple units) to inspect it against criteria established by the scheme managers. This ensures that private rental properties provide a safe and healthy environment for potential renters and meet the scheme’s minimum standards as set out in their code of practice.
To satisfy the criteria of most schemes, homes will need to meet all relevant legal requirements. Like a smoke alarm fitted on every floor) and not contain any significant hazards under the Housing Health & Safety Rating System. Examples of risks include:
- Damp or mould.
- Excess cold or heat.
- Fire hazards.
- Faulty appliances or other electrical equipment.
- Dangerous gas leaks.
- Lack of means to adequately secure the property (e.g. broken locks, windows etc.).
- Risk of injury due to building disrepair.
Property management standards
Almost all schemes require landlords to undertake mandatory training and continuing professional development. This ensures that landlords understand all of their legal obligations and follow best practices when managing their portfolios.
Acceptance of a scheme will typically follow adequate completion of a one-off intensive training session. Regular continuing professional development is usually required as a condition of membership.