Accreditation in a box
Aim of the Private Rented Sector Accreditation Scheme
The Private Rented Sector Accreditation Scheme aims to encourage, acknowledge, raise awareness, and actively promote good standards and management practices by landlords and assist landlords and tenants in undertaking their respective responsibilities to each other.
The Scheme also encourages and acknowledges responsible behaviour by tenants through an accredited tenant scheme.
The Scheme comprises an element of self-regulation and accordingly relies on a degree of goodwill and trust in landlords, tenants and PRSAS.
The Scheme requires that the physical condition of dwellings, the level of provision of basic amenities and management practices are fair and reasonable and not liable to be prejudicial to the health, safety and welfare of tenants or the surrounding neighbourhood.
Signatories to the Scheme must ensure that in addition to complying with the requirements of the Scheme, they also comply with their legal obligations.
Compliance with the Scheme will ensure that:
- Landlords, tenants and community members enjoy the benefit of good dwelling conditions, competent management and considerate neighbourly behaviour
- Misunderstandings and disputes are reduced.
- Where problems do occur, they are promptly resolved.
How the scheme operates
Every landlord or agent must have completed the development course. This can be completed online or at a face-to-face event. These courses can be arranged with you in a local council venue, which keeps costs down.
Compliance and Complaint
The member must continue to comply with our code of practice and accreditation criteria throughout accreditation. CPD must be collected at the rate of 10 per annum. We have a complaint procedure allowing tenants to complain against any member, and we will deal with it.
We at PRSAS understand the difficulties local authorities are facing with their budgets.
The simple reality is something has to give. We also understand that an accreditation scheme currently run by a local authority could be one of the first to cut.
PRSAS allows local authorities to recognise us as an accreditation provider and request landlords in your area to become accredited through us.
All landlords and agents must complete our development course. The development course can be completed online or face-to-face. A local authority can assist significantly with attendance-based courses if a room in a council building can be used, as this reduces costs significantly.
The development course is based upon our revision of the Accreditation Network UK (ANUK) landlord handbook, and the content has been created for amateur and experienced landlords.
The course is split into five sections, namely:
- Landlord responsibilities and liabilities
- Setting up a tenancy
- During a tenancy
- Ending a tenancy
Members must complete a test at the end of the course (online or face-to-face) and have a pass rate of 70% or better.
The more incentives a local authority can provide a landlord or agent who is accredited (and approved by the local authority), the more successful the scheme will be in any given area. Incentives don’t have to cost the local authority much, and incentives that could be offered include:
- Discounted HMO licence fees
- Dedicated local housing allowance named contact
- Dedicated HHSRS named contact
- Promise to write an informal letter regarding any non-serious hazards before formal notice is served
- Free access to a local waste tip on specified days
- Free parking permit for areas covering landlord’s property
Fit and Proper Person
All landlords or agents wishing to become accredited must declare they are a fit and proper person by accepting a declaration.
Our Responsibilities To You
We aim to do the following:
- The scheme operator will work in close partnership with the local authority, landlords, local bona fide landlord associations and other key private rented sector stakeholders.
- The scheme operator will administer and monitor the scheme.
- Maintain a database record of accredited dwellings, landlords and tenants, which will be passed to the local authority that covers the area of the accredited landlord or agent.
- Be responsible for issuing, administering, suspending and revoking accredited status (with prior consultation with the local authority).
- Provide general help and advice, e.g. standards.
- Provide information on changes and likely pending changes in legislation by such means as landlord forums, newsletters, and local landlord associations.
- Assist landlords and tenants to achieve accreditation status.
- Provide advice on energy efficiency measures.
- By agreement with landlords, provide a public list of accredited dwellings in which accommodation is available to let.
- Provide incentives to join the scheme.
- Provide a resolution service for tenant/tenant disputes or signpost tenants to named arbitration services.
- Regularly consult with accreditation scheme stakeholders and act positively on feedback.
All our accredited landlords or agents must adhere to our code of practice and criteria for being accredited.
If somebody has a complaint against one of our members, they may use our complaint redress scheme.
A tenant may use this procedure to complain against a landlord or letting agent member, or a landlord client of a letting agent who is a member may also use this complaint procedure. However, agent complaints will generally be passed to the government-approved redress schemes.