If you’re a landlord who wants to make their property stand out to prospective tenants, why not consider getting accredited? The West of England Rental Standard, run by West of England Housing, is the main voluntary accreditation scheme for landlords in the southwest – here’s some information about what it takes to get accredited.
Where it applies
The West of England Rental Standard has been adopted as the main accreditation scheme for landlords in the west of England by four major authorities: Bristol City Council, Bath and North East Somerset Council, North Somerset Council, and South Gloucestershire Council. If you are a private landlord under of any of these authorities, you should be able to find out more about the scheme through your local council’s website. In Bristol, the West of England Rental Standard replaced the Bristol Accreditation Scheme on 5th January 2016; landlords accredited under the old scheme will remain so until their accreditation runs out.
What it involves
The scheme is designed to give a badge of approval to rental properties that meet a set of “realistic standards”, so tenants know they can expect a certain quality from the property they are renting. You can read the full list of requirements to qualify for accreditation online. These include, for example, your property being in a good state of repair, having an EPC rating of E or better, having undergone all necessary gas and electrical safety checks, and having appropriate facilities and levels of cleanliness. As a landlord, you must also meet certain standards – for example, by being part of a Deposit Protection Scheme and by completing a Fit and Proper Person declaration form.
What it costs
The West of England Rental Standard charges a fee to organisations who wish to become Accreditation Providers. It costs £300 for the first year, and £150 per year for two years after that. This fee covers costs associated with logos and trademarks, branding and advertising. The scheme is also promoted as part of the Landlord Expo, an annual event for landlords, which will next be held on Thursday 25th May 2017, at the West of England Exhibition and Conference Centre. The Expo provides information for all sorts of people in the housing sector, including landlords, letting agents and those who are thinking about working in the field.
How to apply
When the scheme was introduced, organisations such as landlord associations were able to apply to become Accreditation Providers. In March of this year the successful applicants were announced, so if you are a landlord or agent interested in becoming accredited as part of the West of England Rental Standard, you will need to join one of these Accreditation Providers. You can find out more at the West of England Housing website.
The future of the scheme
West of England Housing has plans to provide even more benefits to its members in the future, including offering incentives from local property businesses. There are also plans to consider a West of England Rental Standard Plus for Bristol, which will offer another level of accreditation to landlords and agents. So if you’re looking for that extra push to get your rental property noticed, official accreditation could be just what you need!
Are you a landlord looking to let in Bristol? Contact Gough Quarters today to find out more.
Bristol Cityscape by Unsplash on Pixabay under CC0 Public Domain License
Clifton Terrace by aitoff on Pixabay under CC0 Public Domain License
Bristol Houses by stux on Pixabay under CC0 Public Domain License