Landlord accreditation schemes are an attempt to provide some protection to the public by ensuring that members are trained and are signed up to a code of practice.
In return, the landlords get training and can market their property via the scheme.
Where are the landlord accreditation schemes?
There are many landlord accreditation schemes. Generally they are run by Local Authorities, often in association with a local College or University or Landlords Association
Probably the best-known landlord accreditation schemes are those run by Colleges and Universities. Accreditation scheme members are generally the only landlords (or agents) entitled to promote their properties via the student accommodation office.
The biggest scheme is probably the London Landlord Accreditation Scheme (run by the Lonon Borough of Camden) which has also teamed up with other local accreditation schemes to form the UK Landlord Accreditation Partnership.
You will find a full list of all accreditation schemes via the Accreditation Network UK (ANUK) website.
How do you become a landlord accreditation member?
To become a scheme member you need to be trained. Some schemes will inspect the landlords’s properties, but most now operate on the basis of training the member.
There will be a mandatory training course that you will need to take, and then, if you are accepted onto the scheme, you will need to obtain regular CPD (continuing professional development) as a condition of your membership.
Note that Easy Law Training courses are generally accepted by accreditation schemes for CPD.
You will also need to be a ‘fit and proper person’ and sign up to a code of practice. This will usually include standards relating to the condition of the property and the timescale for carrying out repairs.
There may also be requirements to have regular electrical inspections (which are not required under the general law).
What are the benefits of membership?
Probably the most important benefit is that you will receive training which will help you be a better landlord.
Then, as an accredited landlord you will normally get a training manual, access to the scheme website, and regular newsletters which will keep you up to date with the law.
There may also be some financial benefits such as access to special insurance and other products and maybe a lower license fee for HMO properties.
You will also normally able to market your property via the scheme.
This is an immensely valuable benefit for members of College and University accreditation schemes as they are able to market their property via the student accommodation office and are therefore almost guaranteed to find tenants every year.
Other landlord accreditation schemes are less well-known to the public and the marketing services are therefore less beneficial to landlords.
Landlord accreditation schemes are beneficial both for landlords and tenants and there is a strong argument for making them mandatory for all landlords.
This is happening in Wales later this year and they may one day become mandatory in England too.
In the meantime, if you are a landlord, joining a local landlord accreditation scheme is a very good idea.