A scheme to support landlords and protect tenants across County Durham has reached a new landmark.
Durham County Council’s Landlord Accreditation Scheme has welcomed its 100th member, Paul McFarling, bringing the total number of properties covered by the scheme to well over 2,000 across the county.
The project sees landlords working with the council to ensure they offer quality accommodation and gives tenants peace of mind that their landlord is registered with the local authority.
Paul said: “Being accredited means that people looking to rent can see that I’m a reputable landlord who offers good quality, well managed accommodation.
“There are so many programmes on television these days showing rogue landlords using dodgy practices that it’s a brilliant and easy way to reassure people looking to rent.
“By working with the council I also get a range of support and advice, like being kept up to date with all of the latest changes to legislation, so it’s something I’d definitely recommend all landlords consider joining.”
Landlords who sign up to the voluntary scheme agree to work in line with a code of practice which ensures that tenants can rent with confidence.
In return their properties are advertised on the Durham Key Options website – the online portal for social housing – giving them access to a waiting list of potential tenants.
They also get access to a tenancy referencing service, receive updates on changes in landlord legislation and can apply to the council’s empty property loan scheme, which has so far provided nearly £1.5m to bring long-term empty homes back into use across the county.
Cllr Eddie Tomlinson, Cabinet member for strategic housing, said: “Our Landlord Accreditation Scheme is making a real difference in County Durham and we’re delighted to welcome Paul as our 100th member.
“It provides help and support to ensure landlords can offer quality homes but it also gives tenants peace of mind, knowing they’re renting from someone who adheres to a code of practice enforced by the council.
“With landlords also getting access to our empty homes loan scheme it’s helping to bring hundreds of long term empty properties back into use, improving housing and entire communities across the county.”
Prospective tenants can rent with confidence knowing that the council inspects the properties on offer, that their tenancy is protected by a written agreement and that they may qualify for a deposit guarantee scheme.
Landlords can find out more about the scheme and how to sign up by visiting www.durham.gov.uk/landlordaccreditation
Tenants looking for accredited landlords can find properties at: www.durhamkeyoptions.co.uk.