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Monday, May 18, 2015

Durham's landlord accreditation scheme

Durham Council are going for a softly, softly approach with their landlord licensing scheme.

They are promoting their new county-wide 'private landlord accreditation scheme'.

The scheme is voluntary, but any landlords signing up for the scheme must adhere to a set Code of Practice.

Read Durham County Council’s Private Landlord Accreditation Scheme

To be accepted onto the screen a landlord must be seen as 'fit and proper' and not be found to have -
  • A conviction for illegal eviction or harassment of tenants in the last seven years 
  • A conviction for violence towards any persons in the last seven years. 
  • A conviction for mortgage, Housing Benefit or Council Tax fraud or breach of grant 
  • conditions within the last three years. 
  • Failed to comply with any statutory notice or House in multiple Occupation requirements resulting in prosecution or works being carried out in default in the last three years. 
  • Breached Selective Licence or any laws relating to housing, public health or environmental health. 
  • A conviction for non-compliance of a Planning Enforcement Notice relating to a residential property within the last three years. 
  • Practiced unlawful discrimination on the grounds of sex, colour, race, ethnic or national origins or disability. 
  • Other convictions which would indicate the unsuitability of the applicant under the scheme. 

The scheme costs to join. Starting at £150 for a landlord of up to ten properties, £250 for 11- 50 properties, £350 for 51-100 properties, £500 for 100+ properties.

The council claims the benefits to membership are -
  • Information and guidance to promote good management practices
  • Recognition of landlords offering good quality accommodation
  • A certificate awarded for recognition to display on premises
  • Advertising of empty properties on our Durham Key Options website; the website accessed by people looking and registering for social housing
  • Access to a waiting list of potential tenants
  • Pre-tenancy support for tenants
  • A tenant referencing service
  • Post tenancy support
  • A tenancy agreement
  • A template inventory
  • Anti-social behaviour assistance

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