Just when you thought there could not be any more rival licensing or accreditation systems in the private rental sector, a London council has shown otherwise.
Labour-controlled Southwark council is consulting on proposals to introduce a Gold and Silver Standard for the private rented sector - and, just as with licensing, it says the system would improve standards.
Private rental units now make up a quarter of the housing in Southwark.
A council statement says: “There are different types of landlord operating within this market: rogue and criminal landlords; inexperienced, reluctant or accidental landlords; and professional, responsible landlords.”
The council claims that each type requires a different approach.
“The council’s focus has been on enforcing against rogue landlords, with steps also taken to educate the inexperienced and provide support to the professional” it says.
However, it says there is now an opportunity to recognise landlords who already provide a better service than the one required by law, encourage other landlords to achieve a higher standard, and give tenants a better idea of the standard of accommodation that they should be offered.
“We are proposing to introduce a Gold Standard for those landlords who meet the quality criteria set out in the document attached below. These criteria recognise good practices that go beyond legal requirements” says the council.
“We are also proposing to introduce a Silver Standard, as a midway step for landlords as they improve their properties and the tenancies they offer.”
The council is consulting on the idea until May - you can see the consultation online questionnaire here.