by Ed Firmin
Posted on Wednesday, October 28th, 2015 at 10:00
For all landlords of student properties or other House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) in Canterbury, Canterbury City Council recommends that you join the Homestamp housing accreditation scheme.
What is it?
It’s a voluntary scheme promoting good practice and high quality standards amongst landlords. To join the scheme, landlords have to agree to a code of conduct and pay a fee. Then they’ll be able to register their property online on the Homestamp website.
Why should I do it?
The universities in Canterbury advise their students to only look for accredited properties, so by not doing it, you’re limiting your possibility to get tenants. Not only that, if you want to advertise on their accommodation lists, then you have to be part of the scheme. So it’s advisable.
Students are then able to check whether the property they are viewing is accredited and therefore has met all relevant safety standards. There’s even an area where local residents can provide feedback about specific properties or tenants.
Your property has to meet all relevant health and safety requirements, and you will be subject to spot inspections to ensure that you are maintaining the high standards required of the scheme.
Do I get anything else?
Yes, as a member you can have access to resource materials, such as an approved tenancy agreement, inventory, information about housing legislation etc. You also get access to a landlord forum. Not only that, you’ll also be able to receive a discount when you apply for, or renew a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) licence.
What if a letting agent manages my property?
If a letting agent is registered with the scheme, they also have to sign up to the Code of Conduct. They then have to tell you that they are part of the scheme, as your property will still have to meet the relevant health and safety standards. If your property isn’t currently registered with the scheme when you join a letting agent that is, then they and you have to ensure that your property complies, so that it can become accredited and approved.
If you’d like more information on the scheme, and whether or not you think your property should be accredited, and what that would involve, you can get in touch with me here, and I will be able to advise you.