The experience of many landlords of HMO licensing is that the good landlords comply, the bad landlords evade. The scheme administrators are then fully occupied administering licence applications and the funds from the fees are insufficient for investigation or enforcement action. This then results in a scheme that does not deliver results or one with significantly increased fees to cover more administrators or one requiring increasingly draconian penalties for evaders- or all three of these!
In the light of the poor practice from both landlords and tenants in the private rented sector we looked at ways to get both “sides” to improve their performance. In our experience bad landlords often beget bad tenants and vice versa. Rather than a scheme that had a cost but no value to the majority of landlords in order to target the poor performers, we focused on a scheme that would identify and promote excellent performance from both landlords and tenants.
We believe that the vast majority of landlords and tenants are honest and trustworthy; however the market provides no clear mechanism to identify the good from the bad or to reward good performance. We designed a website (www.trustedlets.co.uk) to enable landlords and tenants to develop their credentials and reputation over time. They could do this whether or not they used a letting agent and the rating is and always will be completely free. With an established track record, landlords and tenants would be able to demonstrate their professionalism and reliability, whether they advertised through the site or not.
Charles Peak-Smylie, the founder of TrustedLets said "Our approach is the mirro image of the government’s to acheive the same aims. The propose licencing all landlords to identify the bad ones, we enable good landlords to stand out. They focus on the landlord, we focus on both landlords and tenants. Their proposed scheme costs money and is 100% mandatory; ours is free and 100% voluntary. We looked at solving the same problem in the relationship between landlords and tenants from a completely different perspective.”
We shall, like all UK landlords and those interested in residential property, await the Green Paper with interest.
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