Private landlords are being encouraged to sign up to a new local authority accreditation scheme which offers them advice and support - but will set them back £150 at least.
Durham County Council's voluntary Private Landlord Accreditation Scheme is being rolled out across the county after a six month pilot study in one area.
The scheme requires landlords to meet a code of practice meaning tenants, or those looking to rent, know their landlord offers good quality and well managed accommodation.
Landlords who sign up to the scheme will get guidance on best practice as well as access to a tenant referencing service and assistance in cases of anti-social behaviour, among many other benefits.
Those that meet the code of practice will also be added to the council's Durham Key Options website - described by the authority as “the main gateway for people seeking social housing, and be made aware of tenants looking for rental properties in the county.”
However, for that privilege landlords have to spent £150 if they own one to 10 properties, and as much as £500 if they own 100 or more properties.
"The Private Landlord Accreditation Scheme is a win/win situation for the rental market in County Durham” claims a council spokesman.