Portsmouth City Council's Landlord Accreditation Scheme (LAS) was launched in 2010 to recognise the good practice of landlords and agents and improve conditions in the private rented sector. The scheme has grown in strength and support throughout the years and has members with varying portfolio as well as well-established letting and management agents.
We appreciate that people become landlords for a host of different reasons ie investment, business or have 'fallen into' it. The scheme offer's help and support for every type of landlord, working together to improve conditions in the private rented sector.
In light of the recent changes that have affected the rules and regulations concerning the private rental market, Portsmouth City Council have decided to re-launch the LAS under the brand Rent it Right. Rent it Right recognises good practice and aims to improve the conditions in the private rented sector, by providing help and support to its members.
Portsmouth is a greatly diverse city with an estimated 207,000 people living within the city, which makes it one of the most densely populated cities outside of London. 81% of those people live in the private sector either as owner occupiers or in rental accommodation. Making the private rental market a fundamental part of the demographic of the city. PCC strives to improve the standard of living throughout the city which has a knock on effect on health, education and employment.
Due to this high statistic, it makes the Private Sector Housing (PSH) Department within PCC an extremely busy team which appreciates the continued commitment of landlords in working with the local authority to improve the standard of the properties within area.
PCC introduced Additional HMO Licencing in 2013 due to the increasing numbers of people living in shared housing. The scheme has licenced over 2000 properties and is still receiving applications and identifying HMOs, making the scheme a great success. The scheme has also increased tenants awareness of property standards through the work of the Community Engagement Team.
Rent it Right is supported by the PSH team, who can offer a wealth of guidance and support to both landlords and tenants.
Rent it Right's main aim is to recognise those landlords in the city that offer their tenants well maintained 'decent' homes and conduct themselves in a professional manner.
By doing so we hope that tenants will benefit from having landlords they can trust, building long-term relationships which are mutually beneficial.
How the scheme operates:
On application, landlords will:
Rent it Right is supported by the PSH team who can offer a wealth of guidance and support
Our frequently asked questions should provide you with some helpful information on a host of matters. If you still can't find an answer to your question than please get in contact here: [email protected].
What is Rent it Right?
Rent it Right is a Landlord Accreditation Scheme (LAS) which is a voluntary scheme run by the Private Sector Housing Department within Portsmouth City Council. The scheme is run to recognise landlords which offer good quality housing and have suitable management arrangements in place.
Who operates Rent it Right?
Rent it Right is run by the Private Sector Housing team within Portsmouth City Council. It is supported by the Portsmouth and District Private Landlord Association, Hampshire Police, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and the University of Portsmouth.
What's in it for me?
Landlords may get many different benefits from being a member. Members receive regular updates on areas which affect them, can attend training and complete e-learning seminars, can use the advertising and certificate management systems and can receive the acknowledgement that they are committed to being good landlords that can be trusted.
I already have an HMO Licence, why should I join?
Whilst the HMO licence checks are very similar to that of the Rent it Right scheme, the scheme will help to further your knowledge, support you when required and advertise your properties.
With the introduction of Additional Licensing in 2013 within PO1, PO4 and PO5 many landlords have spent a great deal of time and money bringing their properties up to standard and this should be acknowledged and rewarded.
The document manager facility can also be linked with the Licensing Team so you will have early reminders and the upload facility to ensure you are complaint with your licensing requirements. Becoming a member will also entitle you to a discount on your renewal licence fee.
If you have any questions about HMO licensing, and whether or not your property requires a licence please contact the Rent it Right team on 02392 841727.
Who can become accredited?
Any landlord who owns and rents out properties within Portsmouth (PO1-PO6). There is no requirement to live locally provided you have suitable management arrangements in place and can comply with the Rent it Right code of conduct. In order to become an accredited landlord you must also be deemed as a "Fit and Proper Person".
What is a "fit and proper" person?
A person who has not committed any offences, or been subject to any proceedings brought by either a Local Authority or other body with regards to the Housing Act and other Housing legislation. This also includes any enforcement action taken with regards to HMOs. In addition any convictions relating to fraud, dishonesty, discrimination, drugs or sexual offences will also disqualify an applicant. We ask for disclosure from potential members to ensure that we safe-guard tenants from potentially criminal or bad practices. We also require members to have fully cooperated with PSH in any previous communications.
If as a potential member you have had any convictions relating to the above but would still like to be considered please contact the LAS team and we can discuss the suitability of the scheme with you. We do have the right to refuse a potential member if we do not feel that they are a suitable candidate for accreditation based on previous involvements, and other matters.
What is the Rent it Right code of conduct?
The Code requires landlords to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times and respond promptly to all issues raised by tenants. For further information please view the Code.
Do all properties have to be accredited?
Yes. Landlords who apply for accreditation must provide a list of all properties which they rent out within the private rental market within the Portsmouth area. Landlords will need to work to improve their whole portfolio as part of the accreditation. We will also ask if you rent out properties within other local authorities, and may for due diligence, contact them to ask if they have had any previous experience with the landlord.
Why should I use an accredited landlord? (Potential tenant)
All Landlords which are members of the scheme have signed up to our Code of Conduct and we have assessed that they are Fit and Proper. The scheme requires members to act reasonably and responsibly towards tenants to ensure that the properties are in a good standard and are well maintained. All properties which are advertised on the site have been (or will be) inspected by an officer to ensure they are suitable and to the accredited standard and all relevant safety paperwork (Gas Safety Certificates, etc) have been received.
What if my accredited landlord doesn't deal with my complaint?
If you have a problem with your Rent it Right accredited property you should first contact your landlord. If the problem has not been resolved you should contact the Rent it Right administrator who will arrange for a Housing Standards Officer to contact you and arrange to inspect the property. The officer will carry out a full inspection and contact your landlord to arrange any works if it is required. Rent it Right expects landlords to deal with complaints promptly and be proactive with their response. Failure to cooperate with the Local Authority could result in the landlord being removed from the scheme and possible enforcement action.
Why do I have to do CPD?
The scheme requires members to continue their professional development to allow them to operate their letting businesses more successfully, provide tenants with the safest and highest quality accommodation and reduce the requirement for Local Authority involvement. This allows members to broaden their knowledge and skill set and become professionals in their area, we believe that knowledge is the key! We require members to gain 20 points per year, and this should be easy to achieve through various training and participation methods.
Do I have to join a Landlord Association?
No, however membership of other professional associations will help towards your CPD points. They also run different campaigns and have different discounts and incentives which may be beneficial.
What happens if I don’t complete my CPD requirement?
The CPD points requirement is set out to be easily achievable by completing seminars, workshops, involvement in feedback exercises, membership of other associations and other ways. If you are having problems achieving your required points please contact the scheme administrator. On your annual anniversary you should submit your CPD form to the administrator. If you fail to complete your points than the administrator has the right to terminate your membership.