People living in more than 2,200 privately rented properties are taking peace of mind from knowing that their landlords belong to an accreditation scheme for north and central Staffordshire.
More than 400 landlords are now signed up to the programme, which is a joint initiative between Stoke-on-Trent City Council, the boroughs of Newcastle-under-Lyme and Stafford, Staffordshire Moorlands District Council and North Staffordshire Landlords’ Association.
The Landlord Accreditation Scheme aims to improve the quality of homes being rented out, and boost members’ property management skills.
Dating back to 2003, the voluntary scheme was re-launched last year, offering even greater benefits in return for the two-year £60 membership fee:
- a certificate to promote and provide proof of membership and the scheme’s recognition that a landlord provides a good standard of accommodation
- free promotion of their vacant properties on the scheme’s website: www.landlordaccreditation.co.uk
- half-day landlord development event covering issues such as tenancy management, housing standards and dealing with anti-social behaviour
- co-operation, support and advice from the scheme operators on all aspects of private renting
- access to discounts from local participating companies
- periodic inspections of properties registered with the scheme, including advice on standards, to ensure they meet scheme requirements
- empty homes matching service, linking members with the owners of empty properties to buy and bring them back into use
- quarterly newsletter
Councillor Janine Bridges, Stoke-on-Trent city council cabinet member for housing, neighbourhoods and community safety, said: “We’re delighted that so many private landlords have signed up the accreditation scheme, and hope that many more will follow.
“The scheme provides encouragement, support and incentives to members, whose membership sends a clear message to their tenants that they are willing to achieve and adhere to good property standards.”
Dee Jones, the scheme’s 400th member, owns and rents out seven properties in Tunstall. She said: “I’m passionate about people having good, sound homes which look reasonable and function well. Quality of life has a lot to do with what you wake up to and what you go to sleep to.
“I started out with properties I’d inherited, and I know from experience that renting out can be daunting. I like to do things well, and the scheme gives members access to some excellent support and information. It’s great knowing that advice is there at the end of the phone and that I’ll get updates, for example, on the latest laws affecting landlords. It also provides some very useful learning and networking opportunities.”
Private landlords who own and rent out properties in north and central Staffordshire are eligible to join, whether or not they live locally themselves. More details are available from Erica Deaville, the scheme’s co-ordinator, tel 01782 232271 or e-mail email@example.com
The scheme’s next half-day development events take place 6-9pm on 19 July at Stoke Town Hall, and 1pm-4pm on 6 November at Stafford Borough Council offices.