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Written by rosalind renshaw

We’re all familiar with landlord and letting agent accreditation schemes, but now there is to be a nationwide tenant accreditation scheme – backed by the UK Landlord Accreditation Scheme.

The aim is to help landlords and agents identify ‘good’ tenants beyond the usual tenancy referencing checks.

The official launch on March 1 of the UK Tenants Accreditation Scheme (UK TAS) follows a pilot study organised and monitored by the private sector housing team at Southend-on-Sea Borough Council.

Southend was selected for the pilot as it has a large private rented sector and, discounting the London boroughs, is one of the ten most densely populated areas in the England.
Stuart Burrell, private sector enforcement officer at Southend, was the lead on the project.

He said: “The pilot for UK TAS came about after a series of discussions between colleagues and other agencies and with the working group of the UK Landlords Accreditation Partnership.

“We realised that whilst a great deal of attention and effort had been put into establishing accreditation schemes that were landlord and agent specific, there was not a national tenant accreditation scheme that offered the same style of incentives to the tenants with an emphasis on what rights a tenant has and their responsibilities towards their landlord and the property they are renting.

“In this competitive rental market, by completing the tenancy accreditation, it clearly shows that a tenant is willing to go the extra distance, not only to learn what is expected of them and to actively contribute towards a better understanding of the landlord and tenant relationship, but possibly the wider community, and certainly the neighbourhood.”
The Southend private sector housing team put out leaflets and posters in the area and attracted a range of residents from those who were working in the City through to the unemployed.
Each one had a number of reasons for attending, but the one common denominator was that they wanted to know how to make their tenant and landlord relationship work well.
They included Sarah Jameson, 25, who is employed in the City and who went on the course as she was looking for private rented accommodation.

Even though she is in full-time employment, she wanted to make sure that when she found a property, her application was viewed as favourably as possible.

She said: “It used to be that if you were working in the City you had a long-term career, but in recent years that has not been the case, and that uncertainty about jobs and careers has made some landlords nervous about single persons.

“I feel that the training course was beneficial as it helped me to understand where the boundary between my responsibilities as a tenant ended and those of my landlord began. I think it even helped my landlord have confidence in me, beyond his own checks, that here was a tenant willing to go that extra mile to show that I was a ‘good’ tenant.

“Even if you think that you know everything there is to know about being a tenant, there is something in this course that will surprise you.”

Frank Oatts, 18, currently unemployed and living with his parents, also says he benefited from the course.

He had recently had to move back home after he split with his girlfriend when their joint tenancy ended badly.

He felt he wanted to learn more and show he had learnt from his mistakes.

He said: “I found the course was very helpful. It covered many areas where I realised what I thought I knew was wrong. It also helped me realise that there are organisations out there that can offer help and support.

“I also found out about the benefits of using a landlord or agent registered with an accreditation scheme. You read or see so many negative stories about landlords and the accommodation that they manage, but knowing that these schemes exist helped me have confidence that if I do move out I can find another good landlord.”


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    ignore the warning signs at your peril

    you can see how the dotcom boom happened

    supply and demand ya know..shares just keep going up 'cos of supply and demand

    until they don't of course.

    imo anyone with a portfolio of mortgaged buy to lets faces bankruptcy

    • 27 January 2012 11:51 AM
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    @ dave

    'When property has fallen by 30-50% ' Thank God for that, I thought you meant it was imminent. So we have a bit of time yet to make some money out of the rental market before it all comes tumbling down and the banks decide to start lending 90-100% on falling property prices.

    "private rentals(according to my kids) is insecure and one sided and basically horrible.fees for just about everything"

    Whereas banks and mortgage lenders are much more likely to be fair minded and share the wealth aren't they. My recent remortgage cost me nearly a grand in fees. Private rental isn't supposed to be social housing nor is it supposed to solve peoples long term accommodation needs; tell the kids to go to the council or a HA if they want secure.

    Or if they wait a few days perhaps the market will collapse and they can get a deal.

    • 27 January 2012 10:40 AM
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    if you read my post then I'm referring to the renters snapping up properties NOT landlords

    • 26 January 2012 17:13 PM
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    when property has fallen 30-50% then banks will start lending 90-100% mortgages and people will buy rather than rent.

    Once investors realise that property is a falling asset they will not only stop buying,but actively start off loading.

    buy to let will be hit

    1/by falling prices
    2/by rising mortgage rates
    3/increased tenant gaps and falling rents
    4/increased taxation

    private rentals(according to my kids) is insecure and one sided and basically horrible.fees for just about everything

    • 26 January 2012 17:11 PM
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    And what do you base that assumption on? why would landlords be snapping up 'liquidated' Buy to Let properties if the btl market is going into decline? where will all the renters go? have they suddenly all discovered large cash deposits to go and buy a property of their own?

    if you think the banks are going to have a sudden and unprecedented change of heart about lending money again to first time buyers, without a sizeable deposit, I think you'll be disappointed.

    We have more tenants than properties at the moment; we have investor landlords who haven't bought for years suddenly calling again and looking for bargains to buy, I wouldn't be betting on the collapse of the rental market any time soon.

    • 26 January 2012 15:46 PM
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    letting landlords will be letting to just about anyone soon as renters disappear from the market

    they'll be snapping up liquidated buy to let portfolios

    btl is the next financial disaster/scandal waiting to happen

    • 25 January 2012 16:09 PM
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    Fully agree with Ray. Can only be of benefit to all & may help in the reference check / selection process. Great idea.

    • 24 January 2012 11:36 AM
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    A step in the right direction perhaps? but I'd like to see the course content to see exactly what it says about tenants obligations to their landlord.

    • 24 January 2012 09:06 AM
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