Cheshire landlord accreditation scheme
Raising standards in the private rented sector across Cheshire
Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester and Warrington Borough Councils have launched the Cheshire Landlord Accreditation Scheme.
The Scheme aims to recognise private landlords who operate good management practices and maintain good property standards. Private landlords play an essential role in the provision of accommodations across Cheshire. It is acknowledged and appreciated that many private landlords manage their tenancies well, and provide and maintain properties to a good standard, often above the standard required by the law. It is important to recognise these landlords and encourage and support others to achieve this higher standard.
The Scheme will focus on developing private landlords, through access to support on tenancy and property issues, and professional development courses.
The benefit for landlords of being a member of an accreditation scheme includes public recognition of the good standards that they deliver, as well as access to initiatives that will be developed for the Scheme. Tenants also benefit from accreditation schemes through the knowledge that properties are safe and in good repair, and the confidence that their landlord is professional and reputable.
Applying for membership of the scheme
Making an application is simple. Landlords need to complete an application form, including details of all the properties they own across Cheshire, and submit this to one of the partner Councils, together with a self-assessment of their management practices, and copies of current gas safety certificates.
If landlords have properties in more than one of the three Council's areas, landlords only need to apply once for membership. The application will be processed by the Council where most of the landlord's properties are, and property inspections will be carried out by each relevant Council.
Membership of the scheme is free, and is open to all private landlords who have properties in Cheshire, who are a 'fit and proper person' (described in the declaration section of the application form).
Landlords must agree to comply with the Terms and Conditions of the scheme (PDF,193KB), including operating good management practices and maintaining good property standards.
If you would like to apply for membership, please download and complete the Landlord Accreditation scheme application Form (PDF, 344KB), Management Standards Checklist (PDF, 240KB), and Equality Monitoring Form (PDF, 62KB). Please note that these forms are not accessible to users of assistive technology. They need to be downloaded, completed by hand and returned to the Private Sector Housing team. If you require help to complete them, please contact the Private Sector Housing team.
Assessing applications for membership
Assessment for membership will be carried out through a combination of:
- self assessment;
- a review of the landlord's management practices; and
- a programme of assessments of some or all of the landlord's properties
to ensure they meet the Scheme standards.
As well as making sure the landlord meets their legal responsibilities in letting a property, we will look at tenancy agreements, how the tenant's rent and deposit are handled, and the information provided to tenants. We will assess the landlord's properties to ensure that they are safe, secure, in good repair and have a good standard of decoration.
If the landlord meets all, or most, of the criteria for the Scheme, membership will be awarded. Where the need for improvements are identified, we will agree an improvement plan with the landlord, together with timescales for the improvements to be completed. If the improvements aren't completed within the agreed timescales, membership may be revoked.
Membership of the Scheme will be for three years. Within the first twelve months of membership, landlords will be expected to undertake professional development. This can be undertaken as online learning or attendance at a seminar in Cheshire. If the landlord has undertaken similar training in the last three years, we will consider whether it can be counted as meeting this element of the Scheme.
Landlords' professional development
The next session for Landlords' Professional Development will be held in Cheshire West Chester Council area. More information will be posted here when it is available.