A Labour council is leading a trial by local authorities of a new digital platform that checks whether agents, landlords and properties are compliant.
The platform, called Vault, has been created by Marks Out Of Tenancy, a tenant-focussed service which until now has been known for encouraging reviews of agents and landlords by renters.
Marks Out Of Tenancy says its service is being tested in “several major local authority areas” - although it doesn’t say which, nor how many.
The service allows users to find out which agents and landlords are not compliant with national or local requirements, to locate unlicensed HMOs, to use tenant reviews when running 'fit and proper' landlord licence tests, and to access data on the local rental market.
Nottingham city council is named as ‘technical partner’ and one of its housing managers, Paul Greevy, says: “The cumulative impacts over time - of statutes, accreditation and Licensing - are now augmented by what has the potential to be a TripAdvisor for the private rented sector. If you’re letting private rented accommodation enjoy that 10 star review; for the one star landlord, time for a rethink because your local authority should be in touch.”
Ben Yarrow, chief executive of Marks Out Of Tenancy, adds: "With the launch of this new digital service, local authorities have access to legally compliant, timely and accurate data enabling them to focus on enforcement action.“