A Durham County Council initiative that aims to protect tenants and support landlords has reached a significant milestone. The council’s Landlord Accreditation Scheme recently welcomed Paul McFarling as its 100th member. There are now over 2,000 properties covered by the scheme across County Durham.
Under the Landlord Accreditation Scheme, landlords cooperate with the council to ensure they provide safe, decent quality homes. Knowing their landlord is council registered, it is hoped, will give tenants peace of mind.
The council inspects all the properties in the scheme and tenants’ rights are protected by a written agreement. Tenants may also qualify for a deposit guarantee programme.
Mr McFarling said, “Being accredited means people looking to rent can see I’m a reputable landlord who offers good quality, well-managed accommodation.”
“There are so many programmes on television nowadays showing rogue landlords using dodgy practices that it’s a brilliant and easy way to reassure people looking to rent.”
“By working with the council, I also get a range of support and advice, like being kept up-to-date with all the changes to legislation so it’s something I’d definitely recommend all landlords consider joining.”
Landlords who join the scheme agree to follow a code of practice. In return, their properties are advertised on the Durham Key Options Website. The Durham Key Options Website, an online portal for social housing, gives these landlords access to a waiting list of possible tenants.
The landlords can also access a tenancy referencing service and can apply to the council’s Empty Property Loan Scheme. This scheme has so far provided nearly £1.5 million to help bring homes that have been vacant for a long time back into use.
Councillor Eddie Tomlinson, Durham County Council’s cabinet member for strategic housing, said, “Our Landlord Accreditation Scheme is making a real difference in County Durham and we’re delighted to welcome Paul as our 100th member.”
“It gives tenants peace of mind, knowing they’re renting from someone who adheres to a code of practice enforced by the council.”
“With landlords also getting access to our Empty Property Loan Scheme, it’s helping to bring hundreds of long-term empty properties back into use, improving housing and entire communities across the county.”
Landlords wishing to find out more about the scheme should visit www.durham.gov.uk/landlordaccreditation. Tenants looking for homes let by council accredited landlords can go to www.durhamkeyoptions.co.uk.