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RCT Launches Scheme to Support Service and Standards from Landlords and Letting Agents

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Rhondda Cynon Taf Council has launched an important scheme to support excellent service and standards from private landlords and letting agents in Treforest – for the benefit of tenants and the community alike.

Treforest has a unique housing market where there is a higher than average number of private rented accommodation and a population which consists substantially of students.

The majority of the landlords ensure the properties they offer are of the highest-possible standards and that the services they provide support considerate, appropriate and responsible behaviour from their tenants.

However, not all properties are of these standards and this can have an adverse effect on the community and the well being of tenants.

The Property Accreditation Scheme, being delivered by the Council in partnership with the University of South Wales, South Wales Police and South Wales Fire and Rescue Service is open to all landlords and involves landlords signing up on a voluntary basis to a Code of Standard to demonstrate that the properties they rent out are of such a quality that they are recognised as reputable landlords and agents.

This means potential tenants can have the information they need about the standard of service a landlord offers. It is also hoped that celebrating and promoting the work of responsible landlords will encourage more to also step up their offer.

The landlords will be assessed on a range of issues, including the quality and safety of the property, its compliance with legal standards and also the management of the property and its tenants.

Landlords will be supported by the Housing Strategy and Standards Team to make assessments of their  properties, benchmarked against national standards set out by the Housing Act, the Welsh Housing Quality Standard and the Council’s own Houses of Multiple Occupancy standards.

Self assessments by landlords will be quality assured by the Housing Strategy and Standards Team, which will  include an independent inspection, before they are awarded the identified level of accreditation( which can range from 2 to 5 Stars). Scheduled inspections will then  serve to ensure standards are maintained.

If a property falls below the standards expected, it will be removed from the register of accredited properties and will have to prove improvement works have been done before  it can be resubmitted.

Details of accredited landlords and the standards they have attained will be displayed for public viewing on the property accreditation pages  allowing potential tenants to check out the standards being offered before they choose a landlord or agent. Landlords will also have a certificate they can display showing the standard achieved for the property.

Landlords and agents will be able to benefit from the recognition that they genuinely care about the service and the quality of the accommodation they provide and as such be well placed to attract and retain tenants in a highly competitive housing market.  Cllr Joy Rosser, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Prosperity, Wellbeing and Communities, launched the Treforest Property Accreditation Scheme this week with the Council’s Housing Strategy and Standards Team along with Let Right Properties ltd , one of the landlords representatives on the scheme which are also one of Treforest’s / Pontypridd leading letting agents.

She said:

“The focus of this important scheme is to raise the standard of properties and levels of service offered by all private landlords in the Treforest area.

“The location of the University of South Wales in the heart of the county borough is of huge value, in terms of the higher education opportunities offered to residents and also the international attention the facility attracts.

“It is therefore vital that those attending the university or living near to it have the highest-possible quality of homes let to them by responsible landlords delivering the best-possible standards.

“It is a voluntary scheme so landlords opt to assess their standards and have the results publicly displayed so potential tenants can make their own minds up. Those who choose to take part and do well will have their results displayed and celebrated, which is an incentive to other landlords and agents and a reassurance to the community.”

Barry Greenley, CEO of Let Right, added:

“We are pleased to launch the scheme along with Cllr Joy Rosser, local housing teams and be a part of the scheme’s first five-star star property accreditation.

“ We feel the scheme will drive standards of accommodation up in the local area and we fully support the scheme going forward.”