PRIVATE landlords are being invited to sign up to the new Reading Rent with Confidence Scheme from 14th November 2017.
The scheme will give landlords, letting and managing agents ratings based on set criteria.
Membership of the scheme is voluntary but there has been a lot of interest from across the sector and the first 10 accepted applicants will be able to join free of charge.
The aim is to raise the quality of private rented homes in Reading for the benefit of the town’s many private tenants.
The Reading Rent with Confidence Scheme has been designed by the Council’s Private Sector Housing Team in consultation with the Housing Advice Team, Citizens Advice Bureau, Reading Welfare Rights, University of Reading and Students Union, Reading College, Landlords Association and Letting Agents within Reading and other key stakeholders.
Participating landlords will be placed in bronze, silver or gold categories reflecting the standards they achieve, with bronze being the most basic standard required of all private rented properties.
There is a scale of charges for joining the scheme, ranging from £180 for landlords with up to 10 properties to £500 for those with a portfolio of over 100 properties.
Officers will inspect a percentage of the landlords’ properties to determine which category they achieve and they will visit the offices of letting or managing agents who apply and check their websites.
Landlords and letting/management agents can find out more about the scheme from 14th November by visiting: www.reading.gov.uk/rrwc
Cllr John Ennis, Lead Councillor for Housing, said:
“The Reading Rent with Confidence Scheme will be a great way for private renters to ensure they are getting decent quality accommodation from a reputable landlord or property agent.
“In a competitive property rental market the private landlords and agents will be keen to show off their credentials through an independent scheme run by the Council.
“A growing number of residents rely on the private rented sector in Reading and the Council is working with landlords to help ensure tenants enjoy good quality homes and a reliable service.”
The Reading Rent with Confidence Scheme is a key piece of the Council’s Private Rented Sector Charter which sets out the main actions the Council leads on to help support tenants, landlords, managing and letting agents to deliver a safe, healthy and thriving private rented sector.
It promotes tenants choice and rights, landlords taking responsibility for their properties and delivering robust and effective action where they fail to do so.
An update on progress made on key actions, such as bringing an end to unfair practices in the private rented sector; tackling fuel poverty and improving energy efficiency in rented homes and acting against criminal landlords, is being presented to members of the Housing, Neighbourhoods and Leisure Committee on 15th November.
The full report can be found at: http://www.reading.gov.uk/article/10590/Housing-Neighbourhoods-and-Leisure-Committee-15-NOV-2017
Private landlords and managing and letting agents can learn more about the Reading Rent with Confidence Scheme by visiting www.reading.gov.uk/rrwc from 14th November. The first 10 accepted applicants will be signed up free of charge.